|FREE AGENCY AND SALARY ARBITRATION|
|When can a major-league player file for free agency?|
|For a player to qualify as a major league free agent, he must have at least six (6) full years of major league service.|
|How does the free-agent compensation process works?|
|Every offseason, the Elias Sports Bureau compiles rankings
of all major league players, based on the previous two year's stats. The
players are ranked by position, so first basemen are not compared to second
basemen, etc. The players are then broken down into Type A, Type B and Type
C (and the rest).
Type A players are players rated in the top 30 percent of all players at their position. Type B players are players rated in the 31-50 percent bracket at their position. Type C players are players rated in the 51-60 percent bracket at their position. Because the players are only compared to others at their position, some players might be a Type B but seem to be not as good as some Type C players, etc., but thats how the system works.
When a team loses a free agent who is ranked in one of the three categories, they receive compensation as follows (if and only if they offered that player arbitration before he signed with his new team):
* Type A. Team losing player gets signing teams first-round pick
as well as a supplemental first-round pick. If the signing team is picking
in the first half of the first round, they lose their second-rounder instead
of their first-rounder.
If a team doesn't offer arbitration to their free agent, they get nothing when he signs with another team. This brings up the next question of why don't the teams always offer arbitration? The answer is, they might simply be afraid he'll accept it. It's a gamble some teams aren't willing to take, even if it seems likely the player is heading out of town.
|When can a minor-league player file for free agency?|
|Six (6) years after a minor league players first season ends with an organization, if the player is not on the major league 40-man roster, he is eligible for minor league free agency. (If a player is on the 40-man roster, this rule does not apply.) Sometimes referred to as a six-year minor league free agent, the name comes from six renewable years on a players contract.|
|The rules differ for players who have been released by their first organization before the expiration of the six-year period. When a player signs with a new club, the new club can choose to sign the player for however many years remain before the expiration of their sixth renewable contract.|
|When does a player become eligible for salary arbitration?|
|A player with three or more years of service, but less than six years, may file for salary arbitration. In addition, a player can be classified as a "Super-Two" and be eligible for arbitration with less than three years of service. A player with at least two but less than three years of Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top seventeen percent in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.|
|How does a player qualify as a "super-two"?|
|In order to qualify as a super-two player, a player must have accumulated at least 86 days of major league service in the previous season, and be among the top 17 percent in total major league service of all players between two and three years of major league service. The super-two distinction does not take ability or production into account.|