The PTBNL in the Mark DeRosa trade (not that one)

by on June 29, 2009 · 0 comments

More on the DeRosa trade…

Speculation is already running rampant on the name of the remaining player the Cardinals will send to the Cleveland Indians by September 1st to complete the Mark DeRosa trade.

We’ll know the answer to that question soon enough.

But what about the other potential player to be named later in this trade?

There are plenty of Cardinal fans on both sides of evaluating this trade, whether Cards GM John Mozeliak did well or not, and whether DeRosa should be resigned beyond this season or not (he is a free agent following 2009).

It stands to be seen how DeRo will perform in his remaining games of 2009 with the Cardinals, and that performance will likely decide his fate with the Cardinals beyond the end of the season.

But if the Cardinals do not resign him, they almost certainly stand to receive at least one compensatory draft pick, perhaps two.  Compensation will require the Cardinals to offer DeRosa arbitration, which is a safe assumption.

In a really brief, really abridged version of the free agency ranking system, I pulled this explanation from Jim Callis at Baseball America:

Players who rate in the top 20 percent of their position group (catchers; first basemen, outfielders and DHs; second basemen, third basemen and shortstops; starting pitchers; and relief pitchers) are designated as Type A. Players who rank in the 21-40 percent bracket are designated as Type B.

If a Type A or B free agent’s former club offers him arbitration, then it will receive compensation if he signs elsewhere. Type A free agents yield the signing team’s first-round choice and a supplemental first-rounder, while Type Bs return only the sandwich-rounder. Clubs who finished in the bottom half of the major league standings can’t surrender their first-round selection, and compensation picks for failure to sign draftees from the previous year can’t change hands either.

At the end of the 2008 season, DeRosa ranked 17th, good for the last ‘Type A’ slot in the 2B/3B/SS grouping.

Being that the Elias rankings take multiple seasons into account (I am unable to dig up information clarifying whether it is now two or three years worth of stats), DeRosa would have to continue to perform solidly the remainder of this season to keep his Elias ranking up.

So assume for a second that the Cardinals can’t come to an agreement with DeRosa on a multi-season extension beyond this season.  Then assume that they offer DeRosa arbitration, but he figures to receive a lucrative offer from another team.  The Cardinals would then receive either the first-round pick of that team (if it’s not protected) and a supplemental sandwich round pick between the first and second or second and third rounds, if DeRosa can maintain his Type A ranking.  If he slipped to a Type B, they would receive only the sandwich-round pick.

So then the trade becomes Chris Perez and the yet-to-be-named second player for DeRosa and the yet-to-be-drafted compensatory pick.

Make sense?  I’m sure someone will correct me on facts that I have incorrect about the process, but for the most part, the premise is accurate.

So a couple of things can happen:

1.  Cardinals resign DeRosa beyond this season and get another couple/few seasons of production and clubhouse leadership out of him.

2.  Cards utilize DeRosa to hopefully help them into the playoffs this season and then receive compensatory picks for him and further bolster the minor leagues.

I’m really fine with either of these outcomes, particularly when you take into account how common right-handed relievers (such as Perez) are, and how available they can be in the draft.

So who could the Cardinals expect to get out of such a compensatory choice?  I’m glad you asked.  Chris Perez was a supplemental round pick by the Cards in 2006.  The team received the additional choice as compensation for the Giants signing Matt Morris prior to that season.

Recognize the player chosen just before Perez?  Joba Chamberlain is now plying his trade in the Bronx as a member of the New York Yankees starting rotation.

Clay Buchholz and Jed Lowrie of the Red Sox were both compensatory picks in the 2005 draft.

Recently promoted Cardinal Clayton Mortensen was selected in the sandwich round with a pick gained when the Milwaukee Brewers signed Jeff Suppan before the 2007 season.

Seeing my point?

The Cardinals stand to either gain a long-term, versatile solution for both their defense and their lineup – OR – they stand to have an opportunity to replenish the missing player(s) in the farm system via the choices received as compensation if DeRosa goes elsewhere following this season.

I’m still not wild about some of the names being floated as the possible players that may still find their way to Cleveland, but at this relatively early point before the trade deadline, I think the Cards did just fine in getting value – one way or another.

Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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