Takashi Saito is a Type A free agent, but in order to receive draft pick compensation for his departure the Brewers would have to first offer him arbitration and have him decline. That isn’t happening, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that they’ve agreed not to offer the 41-year-old reliever arbitration.
Teams are now free to sign Saito without forfeiting a first-round pick, which should boost his market considerably. In fact, the likelihood that any team would give up a pick to sign a 41-year-old reliever is so slim that Saito probably would have just accepted an arbitration offer from the Brewers and locked himself into a one-year deal to return.
Instead he’ll go looking for work as a setup man. Saito missed nearly the entire first half with hamstring and back injuries, but was his usual unhittable self after returning in July with a 1.46 ERA and .186 opponents’ batting average in 25 innings. He’s posted a sub-3.00 ERA in all six of his big-league seasons.