Monday, November 9, 2009

Free Agency - update

read this post and then this article should make a lot more sense

Not in a religious way for all you LDS readers out there - in a baseball way.

Much to what I am assuming is Brooke's delight, I realized that most of my posts have strayed from sports topics. So I've decided to write about sports again, mainly because I miss doing it and also it was the original purpose of this blog.

Lately I have been very interested to see which baseball players filed for free agency and to see what the possible rosters are for my favorite teams in the 2010 season.

There are some big free agents out there now like John Lackey and Matt Holiday and I thought I would give you all a run down of what free agency is - and what it means to an organization.

Once a player has been drafted or signed with a team, he cannot become a free agent until he has been on the 25-man roster for six years. Players who are not eligible to file for free agency can be up for salary arbitration if:

They are not able to file for free agency
They are not under contract
Cannot come to terms of agreement with their current team
Been on the 25-man roster for three years.

Arbitration means that both the player (his agent) and the organization submit a number and the arbitrator selects that which he or she (pretty much always a he) deems most fair for a player of that talent level.

Note that there are exceptions but I won't get into that.

If a player has filed for free agency, the club offers arbitration in early December (I'm not sure what the dates are this year, but I know it is always around Winter Meetings). The player has around a week to acceot and be added to the roster - or contact negotiations can last pretty much up until the start of the season like Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers last season. There are rules about when their team can negotiate and when they can't but we won't get into that.

Now, there are different classes of free agents depending on the skill level of the player. Type A free agents are in the top 20 percent of their position and type B free agents are between 21 and 40 percent of the top players for their respective positions. This is determined by the Elias Sports Bureau.

If an organization offered its free agent(s) arbitration and he/they decline, the organization is offered a supplementary draft pick in the following draft. It depends on the team that the free agent eventually signs with. A team can lose their first or second round pick if they sign Type A or B free agents, or the draft pick can be sandwiched between the first and second rounds.

There are a lot more rules that have to do with free agency but I'm not going to get into it because this is complicated enough as it is.

However I do want to explain the 25-man roster to those people out there that are Major League Baseball novices. Baseball teams are allowed to carry 40 people on their roster, but only 25 people on the active roster. The 25-man rule is effective at the beginning of the season until August 31.

So you may hear people refer to the 25-man roster or the 40-man roster. When a player on the 25-man roster is placed on the disabled list a player from the 40-man roster can be called up to replace him during that time. If a player is placed on the 60-day DL they can be replaced on the 40-man roster and the club is not penalized. A player on the 15-day DL remains on the 40-man roster, but they are not eligible to play in a game until they come off the DL.

The remaining 15 players on the 40-man roster play in the minor leagues. In September the rosters are expanded and all 40 players are eligible to play on the active roster. Many prospects make their Major League debut this way.

Teams use the expanded rosters in different ways. If they have the division locked up, they will use the callups to gain experience and to give their everyday guys a rest before the postseason. If a team has no shot of making the playoffs they will likely take the time to give their prospects ML experience and to see which players will be ready to contribute in the coming season. Teams that are making a push to enter the playoffs usually use the callups in a needs-based way, such as pinch running or out of the bullpen.

There are some complicated rules that come with making the 25-man roster and options once the players have done so, but I will save that for another post.

Until later.

P.S. I should note that the Yankees won the World Series this year. I just didn't feel like writing about it. Yes I believe that they purchased that championship, but hey if I owned a team and had the money to buy the best players I probably would too.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Since You've Been Gone

I've been slaving away at my new job (hence the small amount of blog posts since I moved to Colorado, plus my computer died on me so I had to get a new one...) and it sure has made time fly by. I realized that I have been back in Colorado for three full months, which is a full quarter of a year.

Things are really getting busy at work and I am traveling a lot. Add the holidays on top of that and before I know it, it'll be another three months.

There are some things that I find myself really missing about Utah and I want to share it with you, and those of you who are still in Utah please think of me when you enjoy the following.

This blog post is inspired by my favorite Utah blog Your Heart Out, these bloggers find all the cute little shops and restaurants in the valley and share them with the world. I've been trying to find something similar for the Denver area and I haven't found anything even close - sad!

I miss the soup at Kneaders, and the fruit tarts. I also miss the all-you-can-eat french toast, the canolis, sandwiches - I mean I could go on for a very long time here. I loved going there for lunch on a cold day, and I didn't realize I would miss it so much.

I miss being in downtown Salt Lake and seeing temple square - and I know I am going to miss it even more when I know the lights are up.

I miss trips to Park City to go shopping.

I miss finding places like Stumpy's, which is absolutely delicious.

I miss knowing exactly where to find the closets bathroom when I am in the mall. Sadly, I knew the whole layout of the University Mall. Today my mom and I were at Nordstrom and she asked me where the bathroom was located. I looked around and simply realized that in Provo I knew exactly where to send her.

I was coming home from Omaha on Sunday and I got off the plane and I was a little sad when I realized that I wasn't landing in the Salt Lake airport. It is so much more intimate than DIA, and there are so many people running around that place. I envisioned myself coming down the escalator in Salt Lake and walking through the hall to baggage claim, but instead I jumped on a tram with a million strangers and waited for my ride to pick me up.

I miss my friends terribly. I miss running into people I knew everywhere I turned. Here there are so many people and I rarely run into anyone I know.

Please don't misunderstand the post. There are so many things I love about being back in Colorado, I'm just feeling a bit nostalgic today. Soon I'll counter with a "Things I Love in CO." Also I have pictures from Omaha when I went to Winter Quarters that I want to share.