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Wednesday Morning Rundown

Not much news to report on the Rockies filling out their coaching vacancies, although the New York media picked up on yesterday's Post report on Gary Carter and Howard Johnson.

After the flip I've got the three most relevant changes of the new labor agreement, according to last  night's announcement and we can start discussing some of the ramifications for the Rockies.

From the press release:

  • After Major League players file for free agency in the one-week period that begins at midnight the day after the World Series, all subsequent deadline dates are eliminated: Dec. 7 (for club to offer arbitration), Dec. 19 (for players to accept), Jan. 8 (last day the old club could re-sign its own free agent) and May 1 (first day a club's former player could re-sign with its former club if he went past Jan. 8 date). Also, the tender date for clubs to offer contracts to all players has been moved up from Dec. 20 to Dec. 12. And players traded in the middle of a multi-year contract can no longer demand a trade.
  • As far as the June First-Year Draft is concerned, teams will now get same-slot compensation if they don't sign their draft picks, meaning if a team fails to sign it's No. 3 pick in one draft, it will get the 3(a) pick in the next year's draft. More important, teams will no longer have until the next draft to sign their picks, but must do so by the following Aug. 15 or the player goes back into the pool. Minor League players that fall under the Rule 5 Draft can now be protected from an extra year. Currently players with four to five years of experience can be selected. It will increase to five to six years.
  • Type C Major League free agents will no longer carry draft pick compensation for the club that loses the player, beginning this year, while Type A and Type B free agents will continue to carry compensation. Next year the Type A and Type B pools shrink. Right now, Pool A is the top 30 percent at their position, but in succeeding with decrease to 20 percent. Pool B is the top 50 percent, but it will decrease from 21 percent to 40 percent.

Alright, the first item seems to set MLB up for some NFL style hold-outs through Spring Training as players will no longer have to wait until May to sign with their current teams. This actually might make Roger Clemens style half season players more common and could extend some players' careers. This should actually also mean the intrigue of the Hot Stove league should extend all the way to training camp.

The second item's a doozy, but it's been expected. Same slot compensation means that should another Matt Harrington debacle arise, the Rockies will no longer be punished with Jayson Nix, but will instead get to pick John Van Benschoten (the eighth player selected the following year, Aaron Heilman, David Wright, Bobby Crosby and Noah Lowry were among the other players that would have been available). This will give teams more leverage to sign their draft picks and takes a little power away from the Scott Boras' of the world. The extended Rule 5 protection actually helps the Rockies a ton, as malakian will attest to, and since this agreement replaces the previous one upon ratification, that means we're going to be saved some roster torment this off season.

The final key change involves free agent compensation picks, but it's not as drastic as it could have been. The sum effect of this point and the previous one with same slot compensation for unsigned picks should balance out and keep the early rounds of the draft about the same length. With the Rockies' pitchers performing better thanks to the humidor, we should still see more of our players qualify for Type A status than there have been in the past.