For the first time in a while, the Rockies (and MLB in general) had a busy week in terms of transactions. In addition to rule 5 protection and arbitration offers to outgoing free agents, a new collective bargaining agreement has been announced. Most of you are probably familiar with most of its content by this point, but I will go ahead and break down some of the important transaction related notes.
- Christian Friedrich purchased and recalled from Tulsa Drillers.
- Edwar Cabrera purchased and recalled from Modesto Nuts.
- Andrew Brown outrighted to Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
- Brandon Wood signed to a minor league contract.
This was the Reserves Deadline. Every team in MLB chose which players they wanted to protect from December's Rule 5 draft before the roster prevented minor league promotions. The Rockies began the day with three open spots. They filled two with the most obvious Rule 5 protectees in Friedrich and Cabrera. Unlike last year where the Rockies protected six players (if you include the addition of Cole Garner before he declared free agency), the team chose to leave roster room open for future moves rather than fill it up and having to make cuts later.
The team was not required to activate Eliezer Alfonzo from the Restricted List; however, he may be counting towards the 40 Man Roster anyway at this point. Because the Rockies never reached 40 players during this period, it's difficult to tell. Nevertheless, this shows that the Rockies are at least intending to hang onto Alfonzo through his appeal. Alfonzo has only served 15 games of his 100 game suspension. Unless the suspension is overturned during the offseason, he will be ineligible to play until late June.
In addition to adding Cabrera and Friedrich to the roster, the team chose to outright offseason waiver claim Andrew Brown from the roster, taking it down to 38 players. Brown has never been outrighted previously, nor does he have anywhere near enough service time to refuse the assignment. Therefore, the outfielder returns to his minor league contract, which will expire after the 2013 season. He becomes eligible for this year's Rule 5 draft.
Finally, the Rockies officially signed former top prospect Brandon Wood to a minor league contract. Though there is no official report of an invitation to Spring Training, he will almost certainly receive one, and may even be a legitimate contender for the 2012 third base role. If he makes the team, Wood will make about $520,000, more expensive than the minimum but far cheaper than what Ian Stewart will cost.
- Ty Wigginton traded to Philadelphia Phillies.
The Wigginton trade is something many of us expected to occur this offseason. The Rockies will be eating half of the utility player's $4 million salary, giving us a couple more million to spend over the next few months. The wording of the trade is a bit confusing, but my understanding is that we will received a player to be named later (defaulting to cash after about six months), with the possibility of receiving further rewards if the Phillies pick up Wigginton's 2013 option year. The roster returns to 37 players.
The final important note of the week involves the new collective bargaining agreement. The CBA will remove Elias-based free agent compensation after this year, with a couple of notable changes beginning immediately. None of those changes directly impact the Rockies; Mark Ellis, our only outgoing free agent ranked by the Elias system, remains a Type B free agent, and because he signed with the Dodgers before the arbitration offer period, the Rockies are automatically awarded a supplementary first round "sandwich" draft pick this upcoming year. Recent supplementary first round picks have included Rex Brothers and Trevor Story.
This will be the last pick the Rockies will be awarded this way, as the compensation rules change next year. With compensation being awarded upon a player turning down a specific and high one year offer, the amount of outgoing players in general producing compensation will drop dramatically, not to mention the necessity of those players to have been with the team in question for the entire season, which disallows sneaky moves like the Blue Jays' acquisition of Miguel Olivo after the 2010 season.
Important changes that could be relevant to the Rockies right now include special conditions around the status of Type A Free Agents Kelly Johnson and Josh Willingham. Neither player is guaranteed to receive extra attention from the front office, as both will require significant contracts over multiple years, but under the transitional change rules as we abandon the Elias system, neither player would cost the Rockies a draft pick. Though the Rockies' first round pick is protected regardless, this would protect the Rockies from losing a second round pick to the Blue Jays.
Finally, here is an updated list of every player who will be eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft in a few weeks:
RHP Albert Campos
RHP Alan DeRatt
RHP Stephen Dodson
RHP Marco Duarte
RHP Raul Fernandez
RHP Ricardo Ferrer
RHP Parker Frazier
RHP Leuris Gomez (re-signed ???)
RHP Juan Gonzalez
RHP Nelson Gonzalez
RHP Andy Graham
RHP Kyle Hancock (re-signed ???)
RHP Will Harris
RHP Dan Houston
RHP Adam Jorgenson
RHP Sheng-An Kuo
RHP Michael Marbry
RHP Vianney Mayo
RHP Dustin Molleken (re-signed 11/4)
RHP Greg Reynolds (outrighted 10/5)
RHP Cory Riordan (outrighted 10/5)
RHP Chad Rose
RHP Rafael Suarez
RHP Josh Sullivan (re-signed 11/4)
RHP Joe Torres (re-signed 11/12)
RHP Daniel Turpen
RHP Aaron Weatherford
RHP Joey Williamson
RHP Kurt Yacko
LHP Craig Bennigson
LHP Isaiah Froneberger
LHP Jonathan Vargas
LHP Keith Weiser
C Lars Davis
C Michael Ramirez
C Beau Seabury
IF Cristhian Adames (may not be eligible)
IF James Cesario
IF Brad Emaus
IF Darin Holcomb (expected to retire)
IF Carlos Martinez (re-signed ???)
IF Angelys Nina
IF Ryan Rohlinger (outrighted 8/27)
IF Kiel Roling
IF Warren Schaeffer
IF Helder Velazquez
IF Erik Wetzel
IF Brandon Wood (signed 11/18)
IF Mike Zuanich
OF Andrew Brown (outrighted 11/18)
OF David Christensen
OF Juan Crousset
OF Robert De La Cruz
OF Matt McBride (acquired in Jimenez trade)
OF Michael Mitchell
OF Brian Rike
OF Brandon Roberts (assuming he signs)
OF Scott Robinson
OF Francisco Sosa
OF Luis Terrero (signed 10/18)