Teams offer arbitration to just 14 of 29 “Type A” free agents

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When offered arbitration Type B free agents allow their old team to pick up a draft pick between the first and second rounds, but because their new team doesn’t have to give up anything to sign them their market value isn’t impacted by whether or not the arbitration is offered.

However, with Type A free agents who’re offered arbitration their old team is in line to receive a draft pick between the first and second rounds plus their new team’s first-round pick.

In other words, Type A free agents who are offered arbitration cost a first-round draft pick to sign while Type A free agents not offered arbitration require no compensation, in many cases making their market value heavily dependent on the arbitration status.

All of which is why it’s interesting that just 14 out of the 29 free agents classified as Type A were offered arbitration yesterday, making the other 15 free to sign without compensation changing hands. Here are the complete lists …

Type A free agents offered arbitration:

Grant Balfour
Adrian Beltre
Carl Crawford
Jorge De La Rosa
Scott Downs
Adam Dunn
Frank Francisco
Jason Frasor
Paul Konerko
Cliff Lee
Victor Martinez
Carl Pavano
Rafael Soriano
Jayson Werth

Type A free agents not offered arbitration:

Vladimir Guerrero
Matt Guerrier
Derek Jeter
Derrek Lee
Bengie Molina
Magglio Ordonez
Andy Pettitte
A.J. Pierzynski
Manny Ramirez
Arthur Rhodes
Mariano Rivera
Takashi Saito
Miguel Tejada
Billy Wagner
Dan Wheeler

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

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Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.