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.
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.