The Angels are in the mix for Edwin Jackson

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The Angels are still holding out hope to retain free agent right-hander Zack Greinke, but they are also considering some backup plans in case things don’t work out. With that in mind, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that they are one of many teams in the mix for free agent right-hander Edwin Jackson.

Jackson, 29, posted a 4.03 ERA and 168/58 K/BB ratio over 189 2/3 innings this season as a member of the Nationals. After settling for a one-year, $11 million deal last offseason under his former agent Scott Boras, he should be able to land a multi-year pact this offseason. There’s a good chance he’ll be pitching for his eighth different organization in 2013.

As of now, the Angels’ rotation projects to include Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, recent acquisition Tommy Hanson, Garrett Richards and Jerome Williams. Of course, things will likely look different come Opening Day. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reported yesterday that the Angels have checked in on Anibal Sanchez while they have also been linked to names like Ryan Dempster, Kyle Lohse and Shaun Marcum. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports brought up a scenario earlier today that the Angels could even consider bringing back Dan Haren after declining his $15.5 million option for 2013 last month.

What happens with all the players the Braves lost yesterday?

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Yesterday’s unprecedented sanctions leveled on the Atlanta Braves hit them pretty hard, but it also turned a dozen players into free agents. What happens to them now? Who can sign them? When? And for how much?

First off, they get to keep their signing bonuses the Braves gave them. It wasn’t their fault the Braves messed up so it would make no sense for them to have to pay the money back. As for their next team: anyone can, theoretically, sign them. As far as team choice, they are free agents in the most narrow sense of the term.

There are limits, however, because as young, international players, their signings are subject to those caps on each team’s international bonus money which were imposed a few years back. Each team now has a “pool” of finite dollars they can spend on such players and, once that money is spent, teams are severely limited as to what they can offer an international free agent. Each summer the bonus pools are reset and it starts anew.

Which, on the surface, would seem to create a problem for the 12 new free agents, seeing as though a lot of teams have already spent much if not all of their July 2017-18 bonus pools. The good news on that, though, is that Major League Baseball has made a couple of exceptions for these guys:

  • First, the first $200,000 of any of the 12 former Braves players will not be subject to signing pools, so that’s a bit of a break; and
  • Second, even though these players will all likely be signed during the 2017-18 bonus pool period, teams have the option of counting the bonus toward the 2018-19 period. They can’t combine the money from the two periods, but they can, essentially, put off the cost into next year for accounting purposes.

Which certainly opens things up for clubs and gives the players more options as far as places to land go. A club can decide whether or not the guys on the market now look better than the guys they’ve been scouting with an eye toward signing after July 2018 and get a jump on things. Likewise, teams don’t have to decide whether or not to take a run at, say, Shohei Ohtani, burning bonus money now, or instead going after a former Braves player. Ohtani’s money will apply now, the Braves player can be accounted for next year.

The new free agents are eligible to sign during a window that begins on December 5 and ends on Jan. 15. If a player hasn’t signed by then, he can still sign with any club but cannot get a bonus. If a player hasn’t signed anywhere by May 1, 2018, he has the option of re-signing with the Braves, though they can’t pay the guy a bonus either.

Ben Badler of Baseball America has a rundown of the top guys who are now free agents thanks to the Braves’ malfeasance. Kevin Maitan is the big name. The 17-year-old shortstop was considered the top overall international free agent last year, though his first year in the Braves minor league system was less-than-impressive. There are a lot of other promising players too. All of whom now can find new employers.