MLB's free agency period began at 12:01 AM EST, which means that players are now free to sign with other teams. For the Pirates, that means that Jason Grilli, Kevin Correia, and Chad Qualls are now free agents. Here are some other notes on free agency this year.
**The process for draft pick compensation has changed. There are no more Type A or Type B free agents. There are only qualifying offers of $13.3 M. If a team makes a player a qualifying offer, and the player signs elsewhere, the team gets a compensation pick. The signing team would forfeit their first round pick, rather than the old method of giving that pick to the former team.
**Nine players were tendered offers this year. Those players are Kyle Lohse, Adam LaRoche, Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Soriano, David Ortiz, Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton, and Josh Hamilton. Ortiz already agreed to a deal with the Red Sox, so there are only eight players remaining.
**Only the top ten picks are protected. If the Pirates sign...
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.