CBA Updates: Hard Slotting and Type A Compensation

Jayson Stark has some updates on the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement talks between the owners and the union.  The topics that are relevant to the Pittsburgh Pirates:

-The owners, led by Bud Selig, are still demanding hard slotting in the draft.  The union is holding firm in resisting that.  I’ve written before that hard slotting is bad for the Pirates.  All you need to do is look at how they’ve approached the draft over the last four years to see this.  Hopefully Selig drops the hard slotting.

-The union is looking to change the free agent compensation system for Type A free agents.  Currently a team must give up a draft pick if they sign a Type A free agent.  In turn, that lowers the value of free agents on the open market.  Take Ramon Hernandez, for example.  He’s a Type A free agent, and would be a good fit for the Pirates.  However, the Pirates would have to give up their second round pick, which might prevent them from pursuing Hernandez.  In turn, that lowers the money that Hernandez could potentially receive by limiting the amount of teams that could pursue him.

-Stark mentions that the owners are willing to make the concession for Type A free agents in exchange for hard slotting.  If I had a choice for the Pirates, I’d rather have Type A compensation with no hard slotting.  Hard slotting will hurt a team like the Pirates more than Type A compensation.

News and Notes

  • I hope for no changes.  Compensation has hardly kept player salaries down.  The data shows an upward trend for almost all players.  While the Pirates may not bid on a player because of the compensation rules, there are always enough teams bidding.  There are, of course exceptions, but that is all they are.  It only takes two teams to create a market.  Scott Boras has shown he can create a market with only one team.

    The second part of compensation, the first being Bud’s failed attempt to hold down salaries, to give losing teams (think small markets) something in return.  This is an area where the Pirates have failed to capitalize (for many reasons).  I think the Rays has 10 or 11 additional picks this year.  That is a huge advantages for a small market team.  One of the reasons that Rizzo traded for Gomez was to get the compensation pick, although I think that failed.  But imagine if the Pirates are contending and they can pick up a possible type A free agent at the trade deadline.  They give up players but they get a player then need for the pennant run and two picks when he walks.  Its a win/win for the Pirates.  I do not want to see the compensation rules changed.

    I agree with Tim on the hard slot.  That does nothing but hurt the Pirates.  In terms of the operation budget and revenues, the money saved through a hard slot is minimal.  The harm it causes the Pirates, losing the ability to get players like Bell and Allie who slip to later rounds, is much greater than any savings benefit.  

    I don’t want either rule changed.

  • I’d rather have Type A compensation with no hard slotting. Hard slotting will hurt a team like the Pirates more than Type A compensation.

    I agree, but if hard slotting does happen, it won’t necessarily be hard slotting for the Pirates, the player can always refuse to take the slot and go back in the draft, can’t he?

    • If there was hard slotting, the only way a player could get more money is if he re-entered the draft and got a higher draft slot the next time around.

      • Would it not seem likely that if Hard slotting happened that they would rewrite some of the rules that go with it, and those rewrites could concern something like reentry?