Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Arbitration Deadline Countdown

Midnight tonight is the arbitration deadline. Teams have to decide whether to offer their free agents arbitration.

If they decline to offer arbitration, they lose all rights to negotiate with the player until May 1.

If they DO offer arbitration, they can continue to negotiate with the player until he accepts their arbitration offer, at which point they would then be bound to a one-year contract, at a salary TBD. The player can decline and still have a window of negotiation with the team.

This affects the Nats, because they have one Type A free agent, Tony Batista. Obviously, they don't have a need for Batista with Messrs Castilla and Carrol. But, if they offer arbitration, they would then receive the signing team's first round draft pick and a supplemental pick sandwiched between the first and second rounds.

I don't think they'll offer him arbitration though. If he were to accept--which given the lack of interest in him (I haven't seen anything about teams being interested)--he'd probably accept the arbitration. Then the Nats would be on the hook for his contract (probably $4-6 million?) That risk probably isn't worth the draft picks.


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