The New CBA’s Impact on Josh Willingham
While I’d like to go further in depth on the many changes that the new collective bargaining agreement has on the sport and specifically on the Oakland A’s for the purpose of this post, largely because I write it sitting at a gate at Las Vegas’ beautiful McCarran Airport on limited battery power (but surprisingly fast free WiFi), I will just focus on how it effects Josh Willingham as that impact happens today. Under the new CBA, the Elias Rankings are gone, rankings under which Willingham was a Type-A free-agent which meant a signing team would lose a draft pick, and the A’s would acquire one. MLBTradeRumors.com’s Tim Dierkes explains that Willingham is one of several free-agents who under the new system,
“will not cost a draft pick for their new teams if they turn down arbitration offers, yet the former teams still receive two picks.”
“Instead of players being designated as Type A based on lame statistics chosen by MLB and the players union decades ago, it’ll just be a question of whether the former team offers a guaranteed one-year contract with a salary equal to the average salary of the 125-highest paid players from the prior season. That seems to equal $12.4MM at present, but it’ll surely rise each year. The bottom line: a team has to be willing to risk a sizeable one-year commitment to have a shot at draft pick compensation.”
With Willingham likely seeking a multi-year contract – and with evidence suggesting he won’t have trouble finding it – it seems likely the A’s will offer him arbitration and that he will decline resulting in Oakland acquiring two picks (though it is unclear exactly where these picks will be, my guess is both at the end of the first round sometime). That is big news, but other big news is that there is no longer any free agent type equivalent to a Type-B any longer meaning the A’s no longer can offer David DeJesus arbitration and receive compensation for him once he decides to go elsewhere. In the end it seems the A’s actually lose a draft pick now due to the new CBA. The deadline for the A’s to offer Willingham arbitration is 9PM tonight Pacific Time – I fully anticipate they will.