Elias Sports Bureau releases free agent rankings

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This afternoon Elias Sports Bureau released the 2010 free agent rankings, which determine draft pick compensation received by teams losing players.
Type A free agents require the signing team to send the old team their first draft pick after the 15th overall selection, with the old team also receiving a “sandwich” pick between the first and second rounds.
Type B free agents don’t result in the loss of a draft pick by the signing team, but do compensate the old team with a “sandwich” pick.
In other words, teams may shy away from signing some Type A free agents because it involves giving up a draft pick, whereas there’s no penalty for signing Type B free agents. Also of note is that a team must offer a departing free agent salary arbitration in order to receive compensation when they sign elsewhere. Here’s the full list of Type A free agents, some of whom (Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, etc.) are already off the market:
Jason Bay, Red Sox
Rafael Betancourt, Rockies
Orlando Cabrera, Twins
Johnny Damon, Yankees
Octavio Dotel, White Sox
Jermaine Dye, White Sox
Chone Figgins, Angels
Mike Gonzalez, Braves
John Grabow, Cubs
Kevin Gregg, Cubs
LaTroy Hawkins, Astros
Matt Holliday, Cardinals
Orlando Hudson, Dodgers
John Lackey, Angels
Cliff Lee, Phillies
Victor Martinez, Red Sox
Bengie Molina, Giants
Melvin Mora, Orioles
Darren Oliver, Angels
Placido Polanco, Tigers
Manny Ramirez, Dodgers
Marco Scutaro, Blue Jays
Rafael Soriano, Braves
Miguel Tejada, Astros
Jose Valverde, Astros
Billy Wagner, Red Sox
Randy Wolf, Dodgers
That’s a long list, but it’s important to note many of those players won’t be offered salary arbitration because teams will be afraid of them accepting.
Some notable players who were classified as Type B rather than Type A: Erik Bedard, Adrian Beltre, Carlos Delgado, Mark DeRosa, Vladimir Guerrero, Rich Harden, Nick Johnson, Felipe Lopez, Xavier Nady, Vicente Padilla, Joel Pineiro, Fernando Rodney.

Nationals complete NLCS sweep of Cardinals, punch ticket to World Series

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The Nationals will officially appear in the World Series for the first time in franchise history. The team that had a 19-31 record in late May, putting manager Dave Martinez on the hot seat, improbably fought back to snag a Wild Card slot, won the play-in game, beat the heavily-favored Dodgers in five games in the NLDS, and polished off a sweep of the Cardinals in the NLCS on Tuesday night, winning 7-4.

After Patrick Corbin tossed a scoreless top of the first inning, the Nationals’ offense wasted no time getting to work. Single, double, sacrifice fly, RBI double, intentional walk, reach on error, RBI single, two-run single, sacrifice bunt, two-run single. That’s how the Nats hung a seven-spot in the opening frame against Dakota Hudson and Adam Wainwright.

To the Cardinals’ credit, they cleaned things up from there. The Nationals would not score for the rest of the game while the Cardinals clawed back for a run in the fourth before plating three runs in the fifth. Yadier Molina went yard off of Corbin in the fourth. In the fifth, a Tommy Edman ground out and a José Martínez two-run double accounted for the Cardinals’ runs in the fifth.

Corbin ultimately gave up the four runs on four hits and three walks with, impressively, 12 strikeouts across five innings of work. Tanner Rainey worked a 1-2-3 sixth. Sean Doolittle did the same in the seventh.

Doolittle remained in the game in the eighth, getting the first two outs before relenting a single to Marcell Ozuna. Right-hander Daniel Hudson entered for the four-out save opportunity. Hudson hit Molina with a fastball, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Paul DeJong. DeJong worked a full count, then walked to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter emerged from the dugout to take his cuts against Hudson. After five tense pitches to Carpenter, Hudson got him to ground out to second base to end the inning.

The Nats went down quick in the bottom of the eighth. Hudson emerged from the dugout to send the Nationals into the World Series. He did just that, getting Kolten Wong to fly out to shallow left field for the first out. Matt Wieters popped up to the catcher in fair territory for out number two. At long last, Edman flied out to center field. Nationals win 7-4.

The only other time the franchise reached the Championship Series was in 1981 when the Expos lost three games to two to the Dodgers. The Expos/Nationals then went from 1982-2011 without a playoff appearance. The Nationals lost four Division Series appearances in a row in 2012, ’14, and ’16-17, three of which went the maximum five games. Now they’re in the World Series, improbably. They will await the winner of the ALCS, which the Astros currently lead 2-1.