Thursday, January 08, 2009
Note: Whoops. Wile Springer was a Type A Free Agent, in order to qualify for draft compensation the Cardinals would have needed to offer him Arbitration. They failed to do so, so he is free to go wherever he wants without costing the team a draft pick. Kind of Wish I didn't spend the time writing this. Oh well.
Quick Trivia, can you tell me who Russ Springer is? I'll give you a few sentences before you get to answer that question.
What is a Type A Free Agent? A type A Free Agent is whose the best of the best. They are supposed to be the best available players at their position in baseball. Losing them in free agency means your team are significantly depleated. The Type A Free Agent System is supposed to be a program which helps franchises who lose talented players recoup and punishes the rich who are able to offer these lucrative contracts to steal the players away. And thus the system calls for the signee to give the jilted their first round draft pick (top 15 protected). It is meant to give the low end teams better young talent than the monsters like the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, etc.
Ok so back to the trivia question. Who is Russ Springer? If you answered the guy in the picture you would be correct. If you answered a middle reliever you'd also be correct. And finally if you answered a Type A Free Agent you would have nailed it. See 40 year old Russ Springer had a solid year for the Cardinals. In 70 games this past season he threw 50 1/3 innings to the tune of a 2.32 ERA. It's a season that even as a 40 year old he should be getting contract offers. The Problem? Russ Springer is a Type A Free Agent because he was one of the best Middle Relief Free Agents (along with Juan Cruz, huh?). Now who the hell is going to sign him and give up their first round pick? You're signing a middle reliever in his 40s and foregoing an opportunity to get a future all star? I don't think so.
In essence Russ Springer probably will go unsigned through the offseason because he's a lowly middle reliever and had a good season. How about we all agree that Middle Relievers don't exactly belong in the Type A Free Agent Category.