Philadelphia’s decision to offer Raul Ibanez arbitration yesterday made zero sense unless the two sides had a pre-arranged agreement that the 39-year-old outfielder would decline.
Sure enough, Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports exactly that, as Ibanez did the Phillies a favor and agreed ahead of time to decline an arbitration offer to basically just give them an extra draft pick.
Olney calls it “a wink/nod situation” and Ibanez isn’t the first player to do it. As a Type B free agent his status is unchanged by the arbitration offer, as any team signing him can still do so without forfeiting a draft pick. The only difference now is that the Phillies will get an extra supplemental round pick if/when he signs elsewhere.