Monday, April 21, 2008

Unintended Consequence?

One of the rule changes you voted in (I won't say "we"; I voted against it) requires that players who previously had major league deals must be signed to a U contract if drafted. The rationale, if I recall, was to avoid underpaying players with previous major-league experience. Has anyone else noticed that the result was to swing the pendulum the other way? A lot of players in the draft pool will, if picked, be paid more than they would if their original teams had kept them.
Take Ben Zobrist, for example. He was a Y1 last year, and if I'd kept him on my roster he'd be Y1 again because he didn't get enough PAs to advance. Since I cut him, he's in the pool, and must be signed to a U contract if drafted. That would pay him, at a minimum, three times what he'd have made as a Y1.

But of course he won't be drafted, because no one's going to pay Ben Zobrist $1.2M to play for them next year. Ironically, the same will be true for nearly every "U" player in the draft pool; they're there in the first place because one or more teams had the chance to pay them a Y or A1 salary and chose not to. I haven't looked through the list to see if there are exceptions, but I'd be very surprised if there are more than a couple.

The result of this will be a larger number of PAs and IPs in the secondary free agent pool, where teams will finally have the chance to get the marginal "U" players for what they're worth. This might be a good thing; did anyone vote for the change because he foresaw that and liked the idea?