During the last Collective Bargaining Agreement, Major League Baseball made some big changes to the draft pick compensation system. Under the old rules, teams qualified for draft pick compensation if they offered arbitration to any pending free agent. They could make this offer even if the player was acquired after the season, in the days before he became eligible for free agency.
The result was that people abused the system. Contenders could trade for players, knowing that they would just be getting a compensation pick at the end of the year when that player walked as a free agent. Then you had teams who were trading for players in September, and then after the season, for the sole purpose of offering them arbitration to get extra draft picks.
Thus, MLB changed the rules. Under the new system, a player has to be under team control the entire final season of his contract to be eligible for compensation. Gone were the simple offers of arbitration, replaced by a "qualifying offer",...
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.