Tonight at midnight eastern represents the deadline for teams to offer salary arbitration to free agents who are no longer under team control. You might remember this story from such times as “why would the Dodgers pass up the likelihood of a first round draft pick for Randy Wolf and/or Orlando Hudson out of fear they might accept a one-year deal?” There’s no such drama likely to happen this year, simply because of the circumstances involved.
When the offseason started, the Dodgers had ten free agents:
- Hiroki Kuroda (SP), Jonathan Broxton (RP), Casey Blake (3B), Juan Rivera (OF/1B), Jon Garland (SP), Rod Barajas (C), Jamey Carroll (2B/SS), Vicente Padilla (RP), Mike MacDougal (RP), Aaron Miles (2B/3B)
…though that has already dwindled to seven, as Rivera has returned and Carroll & Barajas have signed elsewhere. Only Barajas & Kuroda are ranked free agents, in theory making the Dodgers eligible to receive draft pick compensation for their losses if they were offered arbitration, but it’s sort of irrelevant; the terms of Kuroda’s contract state that he cannot be offered arbitration, and Barajas already signed with Pittsburgh earlier this month, gaining the Dodgers an extra draft pick. While the new CBA substantially changes most of these rules, most of that starts next winter; this winter is something of a transitional period, where several Type A free agents have had that status removed, none of whom are relevant to the Dodgers anyway.
Otherwise, there’s no reason to offer salary arbitration to anyone, since there would be no draft compensation and not a single one of the non-Kuroda six is completely assured of even picking up a major-league deal in 2012, though it’s likely that someone will be suckered in by Miles or MacDougal. (Probably the Dodgers, right? Right?)