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  • What Would a Francisco Liriano Trade Look Like?

    Ever since his demotion to the bullpen, Francisco Liriano has been back to his new-old self.

    In 37.1 innings, Liriano has posted a much improved 2.41 ERA, limited hitters to a .157 average against and has struck out 40 while walking just 14 thanks to rekindling his relationship with his dirty, dirty slider.

    Nevertheless, even with the improvement, the Twins front office has to be considering moving the enigmatic starter at the upcoming trade deadline because of the current state of the organization and the $12 million price tag required to offer him in arbitration in order to secure a compensatory draft pick. If the Twins are committed to rebuilding and strengthening the organization for several years instead of just next year, trading the rejuvenated Liriano makes complete sense.

    The question is what sort of return could the Twins expect at the deadline?


    FoxSports.com’s Jon Morosi tweeted yesterday that his club sources told him that officials expect “robust” interest in Liriano based on his recent performance. With the added Wild Card berth granted this year, clearly more teams will consider themselves buyers rather than sellers and the deadline. And, if what Morosi said is accurate, Liriano’s value is elevated by a number of clubs competing for his service and the Twins return should be expectedly more substantial.

    Of course, it is not quite that cut-and-dry. For starters, Liriano’s impending free agency undoubtedly drives his return down. After all, we’re not talking a Cliff Lee/CC Sabathia-type track record that would merit a team unloading multiple prospects for the half-season rental. Liriano has just six consecutive starts in which he’s pitched well. Furthermore, even though he has not shown it this season, he remains an injury concern.

    Since 2001, there seems to be just a few trades that occurred at the non-waiver deadline that are comparable to the Twins if they choose to move Liriano by himself (if they add players to the trade, all bets are off).

    On July 28th, 2010, the 56-44 Chicago White Sox were clinging to a one-game lead over the Twins and looking to further distance themselves by adding some starting pitching. Sox GM Kenny Williams targeted the Arizona Diamondbacks’ hard-throwing right-handed, 26-year-old Edwin Jackson.

    Jackson, who had worked 397.1 innings with a 27-20 record along with a 3.99 ERA the previous two seasons, was not finding the National League nearly as accommodating as Tampa Bay or Detroit. In 21 starts with the Arizona club in 2010, he went 6-10 with a 5.16 ERA while walking four batters per nine innings – his highest rate since 2007. Despite that performance, Chicago’s lust for a winner and Jackson’s recent success combined with a 94 mile per hour fastball incited Williams to pull the trigger by sending their third and eighth highest ranking prospects according to Baseball America in right-handed starter Dan Hudson and lefty David Holmberg.

    Hudson has been extremely valuable in Arizona, going 26-14 in 52 starts with a very nice 3.47 ERA while striking out 273 and walking just 78 in 345.1 innings pitched. Holmberg, meanwhile, has turned 20 years old this year but is a fast-moving prospect in the Dback’s system. In his stop at high-A Visalia he struck out 86 batters in 78.1 innings and was bumped to AA Mobile.

    What’s the likelihood of this scenario playing out for the Twins? I wouldn’t hold my breath. Unlike Liriano, Jackson was under contract at the time and due to make a reasonable sum of $8.35 million in 2011 and he had also never showed much injury potential making his acquisition seemingly less risky than Liriano. Still, never underestimate a GM who reeks of desperation for a winner, as Williams proved, who was willing to flip a productive and club-controlled pitcher for one they felt could contribute immediately.

    If the Jackson-for-Hudson trade is at one end of the potential spectrum (the “hey, wouldn’t it be great if…” end of the spectrum) at the other end is the Kyle Lohse-to-Philly trade in 2007 (the “hey, this feels about right” end).

    That year, the Phillies, who had finished second in the NL East for three consecutive seasons and were denied playoff berths, wanted to improve their starting rotation. Curiously enough, they tapped into Cincinnati’s Lohse who had been traded from Minnesota to the Reds one year ago to the day.

    In Lohse, the Phillies were receiving a 28-year-old right-hander who had seen a steady decline in his performance since his solid 2003 season – although his record while in Cincinnati was more reflective of his lack of run support, receiving below average offense in his time with the Reds. In exchange, Philadelphia shipped a left-handed pitcher who was tearing up the lower ranks of their system: 23-year-old Matt Maloney.

    Although Lohse is nothing like Liriano in terms of style – Liriano’s ceiling and floor is wildly different than Lohse’s had been up to that point - their situations share similarities. For instance, when traded, Lohse would be paid a prorated share of his $4.2 million salary, not all too different from Liriano’s $5.5 million. Both were reasonable contracts to assume but potential trade partners likely recognize that the current teams (the Reds and Twins respectively) were not planning on retaining either pitcher.

    As Twins fans know by now, Maloney never quite panned out but back in 2007, he was an interesting commodity for Cincinnati. As Baseball America pointed out, Maloney had just come off a season in the South Atlantic League in which he was named Pitcher of the Year thanks to leading the league in wins (16), innings (169) and strikeouts (180) and finishing a close second in ERA (2.03). Since they were going to lose Lohse to free agency likely anyways, landing an intriguing arm in exchange seemed like a fair compensation.

    Obviously, it is hard to predict what the market with do for Liriano with a month remaining to the deadline. If he continues his current output, it is easy to see more teams jumping into the fray (such as the Toronto Blue Jays who Nick Nelson wrote about today) and perhaps push offers up towards the Daniel Hudson level. However, if he falters a bit, his stock likely drops to the Maloney-prospect-gamble range.
    This article was originally published in blog: What Would a Francisco Liriano Trade Look Like? started by Parker Hageman
    Comments 122 Comments
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dilligaf69 View Post
      C'mon really????
      You're here enough to know a troll. I know, I know...sometimes it's just too unbelievable to not respond, but we all must try...
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      I've half-asked this question elsewhere and I was even going to start a thread on it, but it seems to be on topic here enough to include. Somewhere I'm missing something in the changes for offering arbitration and getting compensation picks. So...can someone tell me where I'm astray here?

      My understanding of the old system and timeline: After the season, a team could offer a free agent arbitration. If they declined, they became a free agent (and the team would receive first round or sandwich picks depending on Type A or Type B status). If they accepted, THEN the team and the player would submit their salary number and there was a period where they could negotiate any deal with the player before the actual arbitration hearing. At the time of the hearing (assuming they hadn't come to an agreement on their own), the arbitrator picked one.

      My understanding of the new system and timeline: After the season, a team can offer a free agent arbitration. If they decline an offer of ~$12M, then the offering team gets a compensation pick(s?). But...isn't the amount the team submits only available AFTER the decision is made to accept or decline? So I don't get how the amount is tied to whether or not they get compensation.

      Does any of that make sense? Does anyone know how it works or where I'm missing something (that I'm guessing is obvious)? I suppose I could go try to find it myself, but I'll first attempt here to see if anyone knows.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      The team could reject the option and sign a different extension. But your points on why he is a risk are valid, however the problem is that none of these arguments are all that much more convincing than the same I'm making against Liriano. Yes, Baker is likely to be a mystery next year with a good chance of being a bad investment. But in that second year, like some other starters who have had TJ, he could be even better than he has been. (And he's been better than people think) But as you say....why not risk a little money on that? The difference, in my eyes with Baker, is that he hasn't been nearly as awful as Liriano has been prone to being.

      Just to put it in context, there were only 9 pitchers with a worse ERA in 2011 than Liriano with more than 120 IP. Only 12 with a worse WHIP. His K/BB ratio was only .08 better than Nick friggin Blackburn. His most comparable current pitcher is Dice-K over his current career. I can go on. We're not "idiots" for wanting to avoid giving our personal Dice-K a guaranteed 40 million. He'll have some value, let's cash in on it.
      I doubt anyone on the Twin is even considering an extension for Baker. For that matter, I doubt Baker would accept "hey, we want to decline your 2013 option, but sign you to a cheap extension instead...ok?" from the Twins.

      As to comparable risks, Liriano didn't have TJ a couple months ago. The risk with Liriano is that he might not pitch well. The risk with Baker is that he won't pitch at all, and if he does, he might not pitch well.

      I like Baker, always have, and I agree he's been underrated by many Twins fans. That does not mean I think he'll be a front of the rotation starter in 2013. Nor do I think there's any logic to depending on Scott Baker to man your rotation in 2013.

      BTW, I don't think there would be any need to commit $40M to Liriano. I think you could get him for 3 yrs for somewhere between $20-$24.

      I can't help but feel if the Twins give Liriano away, this will be looked on as a David Ortiz situation a few years from now. The Twins had a guy with enormous talent on their hands, didn't appreciate what they had, incomprehensibly chose to spend money on Matthew Lecroy instead of Ortiz, and had egg on their face almost immediately.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      I like Baker, always have, and I agree he's been underrated by many Twins fans. That does not mean I think he'll be a front of the rotation starter in 2013. Nor do I think there's any logic to depending on Scott Baker to man your rotation in 2013.

      I can't help but feel if the Twins give Liriano away, this will be looked on as a David Ortiz situation a few years from now. The Twins had a guy with enormous talent on their hands, didn't appreciate what they had, incomprehensibly chose to spend money on Matthew Lecroy instead of Ortiz, and had egg on their face almost immediately.
      Nor is there any logic in thinking a guy who has been in the bottom ten of starting pitchers in 2 of the last 3 seasons and still has an ERA over 5 is somehow a "top of the rotation" talent. It would be one thing if you had some balanced expectations behind your thinking. But you don't. Hell, Liriano has been SO BAD in two of the last three seasons that even if Baker didn't pitch at all you could argue AAA filler might be no worse than Frankie has been. Is there potential for him to put it together? Sure, but not worth that kind of guaranteed money.

      It's cute to call it "idiotic" to want him gone when at the same time you are virtually in denial about how terrible his results have actually been. Just because you have money doesn't mean you flush it on someone who has ACTUALLY been awful in HOPE that he won't be.

      Ortiz is an awful comparison. The Twins, if anything, have overly babied Liriano and done everything in their power to make things work for him. They appreciate his talent and want him to succeed. Kelly was Ortiz' enemy. Liriano is his own worst enemy. Huge difference. I understand the general concern, it's just blinded you to the reality of Liriano.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      I've half-asked this question elsewhere and I was even going to start a thread on it, but it seems to be on topic here enough to include. Somewhere I'm missing something in the changes for offering arbitration and getting compensation picks. So...can someone tell me where I'm astray here?

      My understanding of the old system and timeline: After the season, a team could offer a free agent arbitration. If they declined, they became a free agent (and the team would receive first round or sandwich picks depending on Type A or Type B status). If they accepted, THEN the team and the player would submit their salary number and there was a period where they could negotiate any deal with the player before the actual arbitration hearing. At the time of the hearing (assuming they hadn't come to an agreement on their own), the arbitrator picked one.

      My understanding of the new system and timeline: After the season, a team can offer a free agent arbitration. If they decline an offer of ~$12M, then the offering team gets a compensation pick(s?). But...isn't the amount the team submits only available AFTER the decision is made to accept or decline? So I don't get how the amount is tied to whether or not they get compensation.

      Does any of that make sense? Does anyone know how it works or where I'm missing something (that I'm guessing is obvious)? I suppose I could go try to find it myself, but I'll first attempt here to see if anyone knows.
      You can find the information here: http://mlb.mlb.com/pa/info/cba.jsp Download the 2012-2016 basic agreement.

      The gist (pp 84-89): In order to qualify for compensation, a team has to offer a free agent a one yr contract equal to the average of the 125 highest paid players from the preceeding season (I believe it was in the neighborhood of $12.4M this past offseason). If the player turns down that contract and signs with another team, his former team is entitled to a "sandwich pick" immediately after the first round. Sandwich picks are awarded based on reverse order of W/L percentage from the previous season.

      Lots more detail and legalize there, but that's the much abridged version.

      RE: Liriano...the Twins would need to offer him a contract in the neighborhood of $12.5M this offseason, and be turned down, to get one sandwich pick in the next rule 4 draft.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      You can find the information here: http://mlb.mlb.com/pa/info/cba.jsp Download the 2012-2016 basic agreement.

      The gist (pp 84-89): In order to qualify for compensation, a team has to offer a free agent a one yr contract equal to the average of the 125 highest paid players from the preceeding season (I believe it was in the neighborhood of $12.4M this past offseason). If the player turns down that contract and signs with another team, his former team is entitled to a "sandwich pick" immediately after the first round. Sandwich picks are awarded based on reverse order of W/L percentage from the previous season.

      Lots more detail and legalize there, but that's the much abridged version.

      RE: Liriano...the Twins would need to offer him a contract in the neighborhood of $12.5M this offseason, and be turned down, to get one sandwich pick in the next rule 4 draft.
      The legalese is pretty much what I was hoping to avoid. Hmmm. Your gist is about what I've heard, but I guess I don't get if the arbitration part is just gone now (for someone entering free agency)? Or...what? For instance, what if they just wanted to offer him $7M? Do they just make that offer and the player accepts or not?
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      The legalese is pretty much what I was hoping to avoid. Hmmm. Your gist is about what I've heard, but I guess I don't get if the arbitration part is just gone now (for someone entering free agency)? Or...what? For instance, what if they just wanted to offer him $7M? Do they just make that offer and the player accepts or not?
      Salary arbitration (See pg 17 in the CBA) is for players with between 3 and 6 yrs MLB service time (plus "super twos), and as far as I can tell, this hasn't changed other than a minor change to the definition of "super two." During this time, the player is "reserved" to their team and cannot become a free agent unless released by the team. Salary arbitration is at the discretion of the player, not the club...if a club wants to keep a player between years 3 and 6, they must agree to arb if the player requests. For players past 6 yrs service time, if a player wants to arbitrate, the club has to agree to the procedure. Arbitration is seldom used for players past 6 yrs.

      Liriano is, I believe, a free agent at the end of this season. The Twins no longer hold his rights. Arbitration most likely isn't an issue, so yes, the Twins can make any offer they want (I don't believe this situation falls under the "maximum salary reduction" clause, see pg 12, since Liriano is not under "reserve" after this season.). Liriano can accept or decline.

      In order to receive comp for Liriano, the Twins would have to make an offer as noted in the post above.

      That's how I read it. Feel free to struggle through the legal mumbo jumbo if you want to confirm/deny.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      The legalese is pretty much what I was hoping to avoid. Hmmm. Your gist is about what I've heard, but I guess I don't get if the arbitration part is just gone now (for someone entering free agency)? Or...what? For instance, what if they just wanted to offer him $7M? Do they just make that offer and the player accepts or not?

      They can offer him the $7M. Liriano is indeed, an unrestricted FA at the end of the season.

      By my reading of the CBA and yes, there is a level of opaqueness in the legalese language, there is a certain period of time, about a week after the end of the World Series, the "dead period", where the soon-to-be FAs can be offered by the previous team the "qualifying-for-compensation contract number" and contacted by prospective teams without specific contract offering language, and then a follow-up 7-day period for the impending FA to consider accepting or rejecting the previous team's offer. This apparently is the procedure to determine whether or not the previous team is entitled to a comp pick. Once FA is official, the Twins could make the $7M offer. It's hard to imagine, given Liriano's erratic history, that anyone will offer that much without heavy incentives and other protections for the offering team.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      someone would overpay, though I suspect Francisco is going to go the Ed Jackson route this season... so if the Twins offer 12.4, he takes it.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      Salary arbitration (See pg 17 in the CBA) is for players with between 3 and 6 yrs MLB service time (plus "super twos), and as far as I can tell, this hasn't changed other than a minor change to the definition of "super two." During this time, the player is "reserved" to their team and cannot become a free agent unless released by the team. Salary arbitration is at the discretion of the player, not the club...if a club wants to keep a player between years 3 and 6, they must agree to arb if the player requests. For players past 6 yrs service time, if a player wants to arbitrate, the club has to agree to the procedure. Arbitration is seldom used for players past 6 yrs.

      Liriano is, I believe, a free agent at the end of this season. The Twins no longer hold his rights. Arbitration most likely isn't an issue, so yes, the Twins can make any offer they want (I don't believe this situation falls under the "maximum salary reduction" clause, see pg 12, since Liriano is not under "reserve" after this season.). Liriano can accept or decline.

      In order to receive comp for Liriano, the Twins would have to make an offer as noted in the post above.

      That's how I read it. Feel free to struggle through the legal mumbo jumbo if you want to confirm/deny.
      I think either I'm confusing some terminology or had misinterpreted something in the past. For instance, haven't the Twins offered arbitration to Pavano (before working out deals with him between the offering and when the hearing would have been)? Or wasn't there something like they had to offer one of the Orlandos arbitration with the wink-wink agreement that he wouldn't accept it so that the Twins would get the compensation pick? Maybe there was different system for guys who had already had a free agent contract and those that were first entering? I don't mean to beat a dead horse here (despite the fact that I likely am).
    1. Rytwin's Avatar
      Rytwin -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      I think either I'm confusing some terminology or had misinterpreted something in the past. For instance, haven't the Twins offered arbitration to Pavano (before working out deals with him between the offering and when the hearing would have been)? Or wasn't there something like they had to offer one of the Orlandos arbitration with the wink-wink agreement that he wouldn't accept it so that the Twins would get the compensation pick? Maybe there was different system for guys who had already had a free agent contract and those that were first entering? I don't mean to beat a dead horse here (despite the fact that I likely am).
      I'm not sure what the rules are now, but in the past a team could offer arbitration to any player whose contract had just expired at the the end of the season.

      The player's 3-6 years of service were called his "arbitration years" because if he did not reach a separate deal with the team he was required to go through arbitration if the team offered it--the player could not decline arbitration.

      Once a player had 6 years of service, he could still be offered arbitration (and had to be if the team wanted to receive any compensatory draft picks if the player left in free agency), but the player had the option to decline, which happened quite often.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rytwin View Post
      Once a player had 6 years of service, he could still be offered arbitration (and had to be if the team wanted to receive any compensatory draft picks if the player left in free agency), but the player had the option to decline, which happened quite often.
      This is the part I'm assuming changed. And I'm wondering the details of how. Is arbitration for players after 6 years gone? Just not connected to compensation picks? Other...?
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      This is the part I'm assuming changed. And I'm wondering the details of how. Is arbitration for players after 6 years gone? Just not connected to compensation picks? Other...?
      nope, still there... except that to get picks, the compensation amount needs to be around 12M. I can offer a scrub an arb award of 2M, but if the scrub leaves for greener pastures, I'm not getting a comp pick...
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      nope, still there... except that to get picks, the compensation amount needs to be around 12M. I can offer a scrub an arb award of 2M, but if the scrub leaves for greener pastures, I'm not getting a comp pick...
      But that's where the timing of things doesn't make sense to me. By the time the arbitration process gets to an offer amount ($12M or $2M or whatever it is), the player has already agreed to the arbitration process, which means he's NOT leaving for greener pastures. So there's nothing to be compensated for. That is, if my understanding is correct that it goes: team offers arbitration process, player accepts (or doesn't), THEN team and player submit their amounts (assuming offer of process was accepted).
    1. mini_tb's Avatar
      mini_tb -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      I can't help but feel if the Twins give Liriano away, this will be looked on as a David Ortiz situation a few years from now. The Twins had a guy with enormous talent on their hands, didn't appreciate what they had, incomprehensibly chose to spend money on Matthew Lecroy instead of Ortiz, and had egg on their face almost immediately.

      This is just picking nits, but I believe the Twins let David Ortiz walk to make room for Doug Mientkiewicz.
    1. SweetOne69's Avatar
      SweetOne69 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      But that's where the timing of things doesn't make sense to me. By the time the arbitration process gets to an offer amount ($12M or $2M or whatever it is), the player has already agreed to the arbitration process, which means he's NOT leaving for greener pastures. So there's nothing to be compensated for. That is, if my understanding is correct that it goes: team offers arbitration process, player accepts (or doesn't), THEN team and player submit their amounts (assuming offer of process was accepted).

      You are correct in the timing. What has changed is that now when you offer a player FA Arbitration your offer is at least the average of the top 150 salaries.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by mini_tb View Post
      This is just picking nits, but I believe the Twins let David Ortiz walk to make room for Doug Mientkiewicz.
      I think it had more to do with Matt LeCroy. Both were lumbering sluggers who couldn't play a lick of defense. Ortiz had injury troubles, LeCroy less service time. A bad decision but that ship has long sailed.
    1. mini_tb's Avatar
      mini_tb -
      How do the injuries to the Yankees lefty starters, Sabathia (groin) and Pettitte (ankle), affect Liriano's trade value? Freddy Garcia and David Phelps do not sound like a Yankees-like solution to me. Sabathia may only miss a few starts, but 6+ weeks on 245 year old Pettitte does not sound good.

      The Braves as a trade partner also make me curious. The only lefty in their rotation, Mike Minor, has been flat out terrible, so I would think they would not mind trading for a southpaw starter. With Minor, Jurrjens, Delgado, and Teheran (in AAA) largely ineffective, and their best starter, Brandon Beachy, out for a year+ with TJ surgery, Frank Wren and company have got to be on the lookout for an impact starter or 2 to try to send Chipper Jones out in style.

      In fact, the only reliable starters they have left are Tommy Hanson and Tim Hudson. Hanson has had his shoulder woes last year, so he's not a given down the stretch. And Hudson's already been out with a bad back and a bad ankle this season.

      I wonder if the Twins could manage to pry away 1 of Teheran, Minor, or Delgado in a Liriano trade... Any thoughts there?

      The Braves also make an interesting trade target for the Twins because their centerfielder, Michael Bourn, is a free agent at the end of the season. His services will be costly to retain. He is a Scott Boras client, and he is likely to get too much money and too many years for an aging speed guy with fringy on base skills. Liberty Media keeps the Braves' payroll pretty low, and they don't seem to have much of a backup plan waiting in the wings to replace Bourn. Could they be interested in one of Span, Revere, or even Aaron Hicks as a CF replacement?

      Thoughts on any of this?
    1. StormJH1's Avatar
      StormJH1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mini_tb View Post
      How do the injuries to the Yankees lefty starters, Sabathia (groin) and Pettitte (ankle), affect Liriano's trade value? Freddy Garcia and David Phelps do not sound like a Yankees-like solution to me. Sabathia may only miss a few starts, but 6+ weeks on 245 year old Pettitte does not sound good.
      An interesting thought with the Yankees, except I think New York has probably learned by now to stay away from guys who exhibit any signs of being a headcase or having confidence problems. For example, there were some questions about how Zack Greinke would respond if he gave up 8 earned runs in a start and got destroyed by a Daily cover the next morning. Liriano, even in his GOOD years, was never an effective starter in September for AL Central pennant races, let along Yankees/Red Sox/Rays. Plus, if the Yankees really wanted him, there probably would have been other times they could have pursued him, and apparently haven't to any large degree.

      I keep hearing about all these teams that need a center-fielder, and how Span is the top guy, but is he really? What about Peter Bourjos on the Angels? They have a terrible log-jam in the outfield, and Bourjos is the odd man out. He also just turned 25, is probably a better defensive center fielder than Span, and also a more reliable stolen base threat (Span looks like he's going to get picked off every time he's on base). True, Span is more of a ready-made leadoff hitter, but I think Bourjos fills a lot of those defensive concerns at what would likely be a more reasonable price, and he's younger and doesn't have the concussion issues.
    1. biggentleben's Avatar
      biggentleben -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      But that's where the timing of things doesn't make sense to me. By the time the arbitration process gets to an offer amount ($12M or $2M or whatever it is), the player has already agreed to the arbitration process, which means he's NOT leaving for greener pastures. So there's nothing to be compensated for. That is, if my understanding is correct that it goes: team offers arbitration process, player accepts (or doesn't), THEN team and player submit their amounts (assuming offer of process was accepted).
      This is where terminology gets in the way (and I apologize if someone else has already made this, but I responded after enough comments with incorrect terminology were confusing folks). "Arbitration" to free agents is gone. Period. There is a qualifying offer now, which is basically accepted or denied, and that offer must be "at least" the amount of the average of the 125 highest paid players. It's a flat offer, not an arbitration-type offer. The player has an actual one-year contract offer in place. If the player accepts, he can play just for that contract, or he can negotiate further for a long-term deal with just that team. If he denies, he's open season for anyone, including his previous team.

      The big thing everyone needs to be aware of is that any upcoming free agent will get MUCH, MUCH less in trade offers because no longer will a team be able to acquire a player mid-season and get a compensatory pick. The player must be on the team for the entire season in order to get any compensation pick, so a guy like Liriano that will be a free agent this year will get much, much less in trade than a guy like Garza who still has a full year of contract/arbitration left for a team to control and then get a pick.
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