Nine Cleveland Indians Would Qualify for Free Agent Compensation Picks

It’s way too early for the Cleveland Indians to be thinking about free agency—only four Tribe players are not under team control for the 2012 season, and there will (hopefully) be a pennant run at Progressive Field between now and November. But the latest updates of the Elias free agent rankings are still noteworthy.

Every offseason, the Elias Sports Bureau designates the top free agents on the market as either “Type A” or “Type B.” If the Type A or B player’s team offers him arbitration after his contract expires and the player rejects, his former team is compensated for its loss in the coming year’s amateur draft.

In every case, the team that unsuccessfully offered arbitration to a ranked free agent gets a “sandwich pick” between the first and second rounds of the draft. In addition, whoever signs a Type A free agent must give its first-round pick to the player’s former team (unless the signing team has one of the first 15 picks, in which case they lose give up their second-round pick).

According to MLBTradeRumors.com’s latest Elias Rankings Update, nine Cleveland Indians players would qualify as either Type A or Type B picks if their contracts expired tomorrow.

The Tribe’s Type A players are Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera and Chris Perez. Meanwhile, Carlos Santana, Travis Hafner, Orlando Cabrera, Fausto Carmona, Tony Sipp, and Chad Durbin would all qualify as Type B free agents.

Orlando Cabrera and Durbin will be both be free agents after the season, and could therefore net the Indians sandwich-round picks. Austin Kearns and Adam Everett’s contracts also expire at the end of the year, but they do not qualify for Type A or B ranking.

Carmona and Grady Sizemore could also (theoretically) hit the market after the season if the Indians decline their options for the 2012 season. Carmona could get the Cleveland a draft pick, but as of now Sizemore would not. Of course, the chances of the Indians letting either of them go are slim to none.

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