Yesterday we heard from Buster Olney that the Collective Bargaining Agreement discussions were close, and that there were expected changes to limit draft bonuses and reduce the number of compensation picks. Joel Sherman of the NY Post talked to some executives who have been briefed on the negotiations, and what he found doesn’t look good for the Pirates.
Sherman reports that there is a strong possibility that Type B compensation will be eliminated this off-season, and that compensation for less desirable Type A free agents (relievers, for example) would be reduced to just a compensation pick between the first and second rounds, with no pick coming from the signing team.
The Pirates have four Type B free agents, and were expected to see at least two draft picks as a result. There are rumors that Ryan Doumit will be signing soon, which would guarantee the Pirates a draft pick if he signs before November 23rd. The Pirates will almost certainly offer arbitration to Derrek Lee, who they are trying to re-sign. Lee has been unwilling to return to Pittsburgh, which would mean a pick if he signed elsewhere after arbitration.
This would be unfortunate for the Pirates, who haven’t had a free agent compensation pick since the 1993 draft. Between this, and the changes to the draft bonuses, it sounds like the new CBA will be a worst case scenario for the Pirates.