MLB May Change Free Agent Compensation Rules

A week or so I wrote about the depressed market for players like Juan Cruz, who is a Type A free agent because the Elias rankings don't make any sense. It turns out Major League Baseball may be considering doing something to help Type A free agents like Cruz, Orlando Hudson and Orlando Cabrera--all Type A free agents who have been impacted by teams' unwillingness to give up a top draft choice for their services. 

There have been rumblings that Major League Baseball, which is aware that Type A free agents like Cruz and infielders Orlando Hudson and Orlando Cabrera have been hindered by the compensation rules, are willing to make it easier for teams to sign then trade those free agents. For example. Arizona could sign Cruz to a contract that the Twins are willing to take on. The Twins and Diamondbacks would then work out a trade for Cruz. The Twins could land Cruz without losing a draft pick.

"I have heard the rumor,’’ Twins GM Bill Smith said about the sign-and-trade possibility. “I have not received anything official from Major League Baseball."

As Ken Rosenthal reports, it now isn't possible to trade free agents before June 15 unless they say it's okay, so a rule change would permit Type A free agents to give up the right to nix a trade before they sign. It'd be a win-win solution for everyone. Cruz gets a paycheck to play baseball; the Diamondbacks get something for losing him; and the Twins don't have to give up a draft pick. This arrangement doesn't strike me as entirely fair, since it would still be possible for a team like the Diamondbacks to hold Cruz hostage if they didn't get what they wanted in a trade. But it's a step in the right direction.

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