I’m just looking for some clarification. Your article says that the top 20% are designated Type A free agents, and the next 20% are Type B.
In the article by Rany Jazayerli that you listed in the references, he states that the new designations are top 30% for Type A and next 20% for Type B.
Is it top 20% or top 30% for Type A?
It’s 20%. I’m not sure if that was a typo in Rany’s article, but since the CBAs are often announced before all the details are final, there might have been some confusion on this point back in January when the article came out. In Rany’s article, it’s explicitly stated:
The definition of Type A and Type B free agents remained unchanged for 2007, but starting next winter the new CBA calls for only players in the Top 20% of the Elias rankings to be rated Type A, and players from 21-40% to be rated Type B. This means players in the 41-50% range will be unrated and yield no compensation, meaning that roughly one-fifth of the free agents that currently would earn their old teams a draft pick will not do so in the future. That’s a loss of about seven picks in the supplemental first round.
If you look at the 2007 lists above, you’ll see that there were 35 AL catchers ranked, and the top seven (or 20%) were designated Type As, and numbers 8-14 were designated Type B.
Reader D.S. had a response to my off-the-cuff comment that “[s]ince both [A-Rod and Lowell] are comfortably Type A free agents, it doesn’t make much real-world difference” how they’re ranked:
The relative rankings among the Type-A players are indeed relevant. In fact, they are even relevant across positions. Suppose, for instance, that a team were to sign A-Rod, Torri Hunter and Curt Schilling, all Type-A free-agents. If the signing team were in the bottom 15, the Yankees would get since the team’s 1st-round pick (since A-Rod has the highest Elias score at 84.000), the Red Sox would get the team’s 2nd-round pick (Schilling’s score is 78.075) and the Twins would get the team’s 3rd-round pick (Hunter’s score is 77.215). In addition, the Twins, Yankees and Red Sox would get sandwich picks (in that order, since the order of sandwich picks is determined by won-lost record). Interestingly, if the signing team failed to sign a 1st-round pick last year, they would retain their compensatory 1st-round pick.
This is a great point about the draft pick order. We won’t see the CBA wrinkle mentioned in the last sentence go into effect in 2008, since the owners lost the game of chicken with the August 15th draft signing deadline, and all the first-round picks have been signed (I wonder when was the last time that happened?). With the way all these rules interact, we could see some marathon “first” rounds in future drafts, specially if unsigned picks were to pile up.
Reader E.R. finishes up by noting:
When the free agent rankings came out, my first thought was ‘I wonder if someone like Clay Davenport could reverse engineer these rankings to find out how they’re calculated.’ So thanks for the article.
The showing of A-Rod suggests each statistic is indexed and then counted like that; a weighted mean wouldn’t push him down that far.
We haven’t exactly reverse-engineered the CBA formula, yet–but it’s definitely something fun to play with. Thanks to everyone for writing in, and keep the emails coming.
[Edited to add a link to Kevin Goldstein’s article about the August 15 deadline debacle, and to correct the paragraph about Rany’s excellent article on the compensation system. Note to self: never, ever think Rany Jazayerli’s wrong, again. About anything.]