Real offseason intrigue is about to begin

BY Ken Rosenthal • November 25, 2009

On Tuesday, the offseason intrigue begins for real.

News and notes

Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi have their fingers on the pulse of the MLB offseason news. Get all the latest notes from around the league.

That's the day teams must offer salary arbitration to their free agents to protect their rights to draft-pick compensation.

For teams with elite free agents — Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, John Lackey — the decision is easy. Such players are in high demand, and the risk of them accepting arbitration and returning on monster one-year deals is minimal.

Lesser Type As who make sense for their clubs short-term — Blue Jays shortstop Marco Scutaro and Giants catcher Bengie Molina, to name two examples — also are strong candidates for arbitration offers.

The trickier decisions are with certain Type As who might view a one-year, non-guaranteed arbitration offer as better than anything they can get on the open market.

Teams that offer arbitration to Type As and lose them are assured of the signing team's first- or second-round choice, plus a compensation pick between the first two rounds. Teams that offer arbitration to Type Bs can gain a pick, but the signing club does not forfeit one.

Only two players accepted arbitration last offseason — Darren Oliver, a Type A left-handed reliever with the Angels, and David Weathers, a Type B right-handed reliever who was then with the Reds.

share story