Teams with the 10 worst records at the end of the season will have their first-round draft picks protected, no matter what free agent they sign. The Mets and Phillies are currently tied for 10th, entering Wednesday.
According to the recent collective bargaining agreement, in the event your free agent signs with another team, and he was on your team the entire season, the only way to get draft-pick compensation is to make him a qualifying offer worth at least $13.5 million.
However, if the player accepts the deal, he’s no longer a free agent and is officially re-signed with his former team.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
In other words, the only way draft-pick compensation is going to be a factor is with top free agents who started and finished the season with the same team.
So, from a Mets point of view, in regards to the outfield, I’m guessing Jacoby Ellsbury, Corey Hart and Shin-Soo Choo and maybe Hunter Pence will all get qualifying offers from their current teams, because they’re all likely to get offered more than $14 million on the open market. In other words, assuming the Mets finish better than the worst 10 teams in the league, I’d expect these players to cost Sandy Alderson a top draft pick, which was something he was reluctant to do last season when chasing Michael Bourn.
Frank Francisco, LaTroy Hawkins, Pedro Feliciano, David Ardsma and Johan Santana are eligible to be free agents at the end of this season, and I don’t see any of these players being offered $14 million by the Mets, though I do think they’ll try to re-sign Hawkins.