Is it time to do something about “gentleman’s agreements” free agents make to decline arbitration?

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Just like the Yankees and Javier Vazquez, the Brewers and Trevor Hoffman came to a “gentleman’s agreement” that Hoffman will decline what at first glance appeared to be a shocking arbitration offer.

Hoffman made $7.5 million this season and under normal circumstances the Brewers offering him arbitration would essentially be like putting a one-year, $7.5 million deal on the table.

However, because Hoffman has already agreed to decline the arbitration offer there’s no risk of that for the Brewers and instead they’ll basically just get a free second-round draft pick should he sign elsewhere.

Vazquez and the Yankees reached the same type of agreement yesterday and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com speculates that Orlando Hudson and the Twins have as well.

All three players are Type B free agents, so the agreements don’t change the fact that teams signing them can do so without forfeiting draft picks. Instead the only change is that their old teams can get the benefit of a compensatory draft pick without having to take the risk of truly offering arbitration. It’s definitely gaming the system and with at least two and possibly three or more cases this offseason it seems likely that MLB will (or at least should) attempt to close the loophole somehow going forward.

Tigers sign Edwin Jackson to a minor league deal

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The good news: most-traveled-player ever Edwin Jackson has a job again. The bad news: it’s not with team number 15. He’s repeating himself, going back to the Tigers, for whom he pitched in 2009. Oh well.

Jackson, 35, posted a ghastly 11.12 ERA in 28 and a third innings over eight appearances with the Blue Jays this season, five of which came as starts. If he can manage to be merely bad instead of terrible he’s likely to get several starts for Detroit in the second half as the Tigers are playing for nothing and teams playing for nothing are well-served by veteran arms.

And heck, if he starts one in the next week or so and is amazing, maybe — just maybe — Detroit can flip him to team number 15? We can dream, can’t we?