Could the Astros lose compensation for Barmes?

One of the biggest the decisions the Astros need to make this offseason is deciding whether to offer arbitration to free agent shortstop Clint Barmes, who’s a Type B free agent. The Astros are unlikely to re-sign Barmes, but if they offer him arbitration and he accepts, the team would be on the hook for about $5 million (he made $3.92 million last season).

That decision, however, could be pointless if a report in the New York Post is true. The newspaper, citing two officials briefed on collective bargaining talks, reported compensation for Type-B free agents will be eliminated this offseason. Presently, teams who offer arbitration to Type-B free agents and watch them sign with another team are given a sandwich pick between the first and second round in next year’s First-Year Player Draft.

If the elimination of compensation is part of the new Basic Agreement, the Astros would have no reason to offer arbitration to Barmes, who doesn’t appear to be in the team’s plans going forward because of his salary.

3 Comments

I’m guessing small market teams are upset that big market teams can essentially “recycle” relievers (or position players) on one-year deals, allowing them to walk the next offseason and collect a sandwich round pick.

This would in essence hurt the value of lower market teams actual 2nd round pick, after the compensation round.

Initially, I was under the assumption MLB wasn’t thrilled about Tampa Bay appearing to be collecting potential Type B free agents in 2010 and coming out with the significant haul the Rays did in the 2011 draft headed by Taylor Guerrieri and Mikie Mahtook.

Coming from both points of view, it sounds like the right idea. Challenges teams to grow their talents through drafting and signing by reducing the amount of players that can offer draft pick compensation. Suddenly, you cannot rely on this to build your system faster.

So many circumstances, it truly isn’t even funny.

What is your take on it Tags?

This both helps and hurts teams who are rebuilding and don’t want to hang onto their Type B free agents, but feel necessary to offer them free agency. Remember when Jose Valverde was a free agent. The Astros offered him arbitration simply because they wanted the extra draft pick and not because they wanted to bring him back at big money. He turned them down, and that allowed them to do other things. Of course, they got some extra bodies in the draft.

I agree, Valverde was of Type A status too. I’m all for Type A compensation for teams who cannot afford big name stars they draft after the players team controllable years expireThose teams should be allowed compensation. I’m glad so many sandwich round picks won’t be getting in the way of the Astro’s 2nd round pick.

How many Type A free agents are there who are likely to net compensation? This automatically increases the value of Houston’s 2nd round pick in the 2012 draft. I can live with that. Wonder how draft slotting will be addressed in this new CBA for MLB. Seems like one of the only hurdles left.

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