Deadline For Arbitration to Ranked Free Agents Is Today

The Pirates will likely tender an offer of arbitration to Derrek Lee today.

The new collective bargaining agreement will eliminate Type A and Type B free agents next year.  Fortunately for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the system is still in place this year, as they have four Type B free agents, with the potential to get a few first round compensation picks in the 2012 MLB draft.

In order to get a pick, the Pirates must offer arbitration to their ranked free agents by the end of the day today.  If the player declines arbitration and signs elsewhere, the team gets a compensation pick for that player between the first and second rounds of the 2012 draft.

The Pirates already received one pick when Ryan Doumit signed with the Minnesota Twins last week.  Doumit was a Type B free agent, and because he signed prior to today’s deadline, he automatically gives the Pirates a pick.  Likewise, the Pirates have secured picks for other teams by signing Type B free agents Rod Barajas and Clint Barmes.

The player most likely to receive an offer of arbitration is Derrek Lee.  The Pirates want to bring Lee back, and offering him arbitration puts them in a good situation.  If Lee accepts, the Pirates get him back at a raise over his $8.5 M total compensation in 2011.  If he declines and signs elsewhere, the Pirates get a draft pick.  Based on Lee’s lack of desire to play in Pittsburgh it seems more likely that he will fetch a draft pick for the team.

Ryan Ludwick made $6.775 M in 2011, which is the biggest reason he probably won’t see an offer of arbitration.  Chris Snyder is in the same situation after receiving $5.75 M in 2011.  The Pirates don’t really have needs at outfield and catcher at this point, and Ludwick and Snyder aren’t exactly values at their anticipated arbitration prices.  They also would be unlikely to top those offers on the open market, making it more likely that they would accept arbitration.

The only way I see either player getting an offer is if the Pirates can work out an agreement where the player agrees to decline arbitration for the good of the team.  That’s been done in the past, but is nothing that can be counted on.  I think we can expect one to two draft picks for the Pirates, depending on what Lee’s decision comes down to.  Anything more would be a huge bonus.

Players have until December 7th to accept or decline their offers of arbitration.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Anonymous

    Teams getting a draft pick from an arb player rejecting an offer isn’t such a good thing any more is it? I really think it is unfair for teams to be taxed for what they spend. It’s been written countless times already that the big spenders in free agency haven’t been harnessed and that is where the blight is. Each year multi million dollar contracts are doled out that come nowhere near making sense.

    Isn’t it kind of stupid for the Pirates to be able to offer Doumit arbitration when he’s signed to play for another team? Gotta remember it’s baseball and things don’t always make sense if Bud Selig and company are involved.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      The extra picks are still good, since they come with slot amounts that count towards the total draft pools. You just can’t go over-slot with them anymore.

      The Pirates automatically get a pick for Doumit because he signed before they had a chance to offer him arbitration.

  • john.alcorn

    Tim, is today also the deadline to tender Arb to players under team control? Like Karstens, Jones, Morton, etc? If not then when is it?

    • Anonymous

      No, that deadline date is December 12th.  It would be much too easy if everything was all on the same day.  Or week.  Or even month.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      That is December 12th.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder what Snyder’s value would be right now, he would be a great pick up if they could get him for say 1mil or 2mil, he and Barajas would make a nice catching duo for the Bucs.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      Wouldn’t be a bad idea if he came cheap.