Under the new terms of MLB’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams that make future moves for Type-A free agent relief pitchers will not be forced to part with a first-round pick in the draft, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.
This means teams can sign Ryan Madson, Francisco Rodriguez, Heath Bell, and other top relievers this offseason without penalty. The measure is not retroactive, however, meaning that the Phillies will still surrender their first-round pick for signing Jonathan Papelbon.
That being said, the Phillies will still receive a compensatory pick of some sort if/when Ryan Madson signs elsewhere, just not the team’s first-round pick that he signs with. Under the new system, the top free agents will be subject to compensation if teams make them qualifying offers north of $12MM. They will no longer go by the Elias free agent rankings using Type-A or Type-B status.
This is kind of a tough pill for the Phillies to swallow as they’re being penalized for moving quickly in free agency. Not only are they giving Papelbon $50 million or more – which really wasn’t the best move in the world, in my opinion – but now they are kind of getting screwed by the system.
Also under the terms of the new CBA, two teams from the same division will be able to play each other in the Divisional Round.