Friday, November 12, 2004

Let the Signing Begin! (And More Tony Bashing!)

Today is the first time that Free Agents can sign with other teams. Teams have until December 7 to offer Arbitration to their players. If you sign a player to a contract before the other team declines arbitration, you owe that team compensation. I won't bore ya with the full rules or the complete list of players, but they're easily available if you keep scrolling.

Our resident scrub, Tony Batista is our only Free Agent who we can get compensation for. With another report that we're far apart on re-signing him, I'd suspect we'll end up going to arbitration with him. We do not get compensation for him (in this case two first-round draft picks), unless we offer him arbitration.

If we do offer him arbitration, I wouldn't be shocked to see him accept. There are a number of decent 3B available this year and I can't imagine that market for him being too strong. If you need an outmaker at 3B, you can take your pick from Vinny Castilla or Joe Randa.

That being said, I think he's in for a rude shock when there aren't going to be teams clamoring for his services--especially if they have to give up their draft pick for him. I think this is why the Nationals haven't really done much to improve their offer to him either. They know that he's kind of stuck.

If he accepts arbitration, he signs a one-year deal at the arbiter's price--if they don't agree to one on their own beforehand. Just taking an educated guess, I'd say it'd probably be in the neighborhood of $3-5MM a year. (His salary last year was $1.5MM) No, it's not ideal. And there are players I'd rather have, but if it's only for one year, I can certainly live with it.


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