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.

Mike Rizzo and Shawn Kelley almost got into a physical confrontation

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A few weeks back the Washington Nationals designated reliever Shawn Kelley for assignment the morning after he threw his glove into the ground and glared at the Nats dugout in frustration after giving up a homer in a blowout win against the Mets. He was later traded to the Athletics. Nats GM Mike Rizzo said at that time that he thought Kelley was trying to show up his manager and that there was no room for that sort of thing on the team, offering an “either you’re with us or you’re working against us” sentiment in the process.

Today the Washington Post talks about all of the Nationals’ bullpen woes of late, and touches on the departure of Kelley as being part of the problem. In so doing, we learn that, on the night of Kelley’s mound tantrum, he and Rizzo almost got into a physical confrontation:

Rizzo headed down to the clubhouse and confronted Kelley, according to people familiar with the situation. The argument became heated, including raised voices, and eventually it almost became physical, according to people familiar with the exchange. Adam Eaton got between the two of them and separated them before things could advance further . . .

Might I point out that, the fact of this emerging now helps to vindicate Brandon Kintzler who, the day before, was traded away, some say, for being the source for negative reports from inside the Nats’ clubhouse?

That aside, the article does not make anyone look good, really. Rizzo had the backing of his team with the Kelley incident, but the overall story — how did the Nats’ bullpen, which was once a strength — get so bad? — does no favors for Rizzo. Mostly because he seems to have thought that they had so much extra bullpen depth that they could afford to deal away Kintzler, which he says was a financial move, not a punitive trade for being a media source.

Question: when was the last time you heard a baseball man say he had too much relief pitching? Especially today, in which the bullpen has assumed such a prominent role? Seems rather unreasonable to cut relievers when you’re trying mightily to come back from a sizable deficit in the standings, yes?