In addition to the implementation of a bonus pool for the amateur draft, accelerated signing date and international spending restrictions, Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement also ushered in several new policies regarding free agency.
In previous years, free agents were classified into three categories by the Elias Sports Bureau: Type A, Type B and unrestricted. Teams were then required to offer their Type A and B free agents arbitration in order to receive compensation via the draft from the team signing their player.
Under the new collective bargaining agreement, such designations are non-existent as teams seeking draft-pick compensation must now offer their respective free agent a qualifying offer (the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players or $13.3 million). Teams who extend such an offer will receive a compensatory draft pick in the supplemental first round.
Over the course of last week, eight players received qualifying offers from their teams, according to MLB Trade Rumors: Nick Swisher (Yankees), Hiroki Kuroda (Yankees), Rafael Soriano (Yankees), B.J. Upton (Rays), Adam LaRoche (Nationals), Michael Bourn (Braves), Josh Hamilton (Rangers) and Kyle Lohse (Cardinals).
As one can infer from aforementioned group of players, the Yankees have the most to gain in the 2013 draft due to their decision to offer qualifying offers to Swisher, Kuroda and Soriano. According Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, it seems as though they will pursue the re-signing of Kuroda, in which case the team would receive two compensatory draft picks rather than three.
Still, considering each of the eight teams that extended qualifying offers finished the 2012 season in the top 10 (by record), the Yankees will surely benefit from two additional supplemental first-round picks. Therefore, it seems as though the organization will have a late first-round pick and (at least) two more shortly thereafter in the compensatory round.
Given the Yankees' inability to thoroughly and successfully develop prospects in recent years, especially pitching prospects, three early picks should provide a much-needed opportunity to bolster their farm system.
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