Eddie Bajek (Detroit Tigers Thoughts) and Keith Law (ESPN) reverse-engineered the Elias Rankings last year, which is the system used to determine whether free agents become Type A, Type B, or neither. The rankings from the beginning of the 2008 season through July 29th, 2009, though the final rankings to determine FA’s types will include 2 full seasons. A link to full report is available on MLB Trade Rumors, along with some more info about Bajek’s rankings.
Let’s take a look at how this season’s upcoming Mets free agents are making out…
Brian Schneider ranks 9th among NL catchers, classifying as a Type B free agent. He’s 3 slots below the Type A threshold, but the gap appears too large to overcome.Â He’s also a fair bit above the higher “neither” catcher, so Type B looks to be in Brian’s future.
Carlos Delgado ranks 29th among NL 1b/OFs, also classifying as a Type B free agent. Delgado would need to climb 7 spots to reach Type A, and fall 18 spots to lose his qualification. He also appears safe to finish the season as a Type B.
Gary Sheffield ranks 45th among NL 1b/OFs, barely classifying as a Type B free agent, with only one other Type B below him on the list. Depending on the rest of his season, and of those surrounding him on the list, Sheffield may end up as either a Type B or with no ranking at all.
Fernando Tatis ranks 47th among NL 1b/OFs, and is the number 1 “neither” beneficiary at this time. The rest of his season will also determine whether or not he climbs into the Type B category, which isn’t far away.
Alex Cora, Angel Berroa, and Ramon Martinez all rank low among NL 2b/SS/3b, and should finish the season with a “neither” ranking.
Livan Hernandez ranks low among NL SP, and should finish the season with a “neither” ranking.
Billy Wagner ranks 10th among NL RP, making him the only Met to potentially stand as a Type A free agent. There’s a lot of space between Wagner and the Type B’s, but a return to the major in the next month or so may secure Billy’s status as a Type A. This could make his free agency period difficult though, as Jason Varitek discovered last off-season. It’s also looking highly unlikely that the Mets pick up his 2010 option.
J.J. Putz ranks low among NL RP, putting him in the “neither” category. A quick return and a strong finish could push him into the Type B category, but it’s safe to say he’ll probably end the season without it. Like Wagner, Putz likely won’t be picked up with his 2010 option. Though conceivably with a strong comeback, the Mets could pick up the option and use J.J. as trade bait in the offseason.
Elmer Dessens ranks low among NL RP, and should finish the season with a “neither” ranking.
MLB Trade Rumors has a great post explaining how the free agent Types and draft compensation work. Running through the basics, the team needs to offer a player arbitration to receive draft compensation. A Type A pick nets the signing team’s 1st round draft pick (or a later round depending on who else they sign and what number pick they have) as well as a supplemental pick (between the first two rounds) and a Type B pick nets a supplemental draft pick.