NEWBERG REPORT PLUS — OCTOBER 24, 2006

While the modifications to the Collective Bargaining Agreement are relatively minor, there are lots of them. For now, here are the ones that might be of most immediate interest as far as the subject matter of the Newberg Report is concerned:

Draft pick compensation survives, contrary to what many reputable baseball writers reported over the last week. But there are changes: The loss of a Type B player now results in sandwich pick compensation but no forfeiture of a pick by the signing team. Type A’s still net two picks (one forfeited by the signing club, and one sandwich pick). The Type C classification no longer exists.

Beginning in 2007, the top 20 percent of players at each position will be classified as Type A’s, and next 20 percent will be Type B’s. That’s a change from 30 percent and (Type A) the next 20 percent (Type B).

This helps the Rangers in a big way. Gary Matthews Jr., Carlos Lee, Vicente Padilla, and Mark DeRosa are sure to get arbitration offers from Texas, and I would expect each will be a Type A (with the possible exception of DeRosa, but let’s see how the still applicable 30 percent provision classifies him), meaning a potential windfall of picks in the first two rounds in the case of those players who sign elsewhere. Adam Eaton and Rod Barajas are tougher calls, both in terms of classification and the Rangers’ interest in offering arb.

Also, the standard December 7, December 19, and January 8 deadlines for offering and accepting arbitration to free agents and for those free agents to re-sign with their previous club have evidently been eliminated, as has the May 1 date before which free agents who rejected arbitration were once prohibited from re-signing with their previous clubs.

That’s another set of provisions that I suspect will be more easily understood and explained once I get the chance to see the exact language.

The period of time before a player must be added to a 40-man roster for purposes of Rule 5 Draft protection has been changed from three or four years from the player’s first minor league season to four or five years from year of signing.

Until I see the CBA language, I can’t say for sure, but it sounds as if this means the crop of prospects I discussed this morning — John Danks, Thomas Diamond, and Ben Harrison chief among them — won’t actually need to be added to the roster next month after all. It doesn’t delay their timetable for arrival in the big leagues, but it does affect when their options timetables kick in, and it also gives Texas (and every other team) more roster flexibility, especially this winter, when very few blue-chip prospects will need to be added to rosters around the league.

I can’t say for sure how it affects Emerson Frostad, who was signed in 2003 but whose initial contract was effective in 2004. According to the way the press release is worded, Frostad may still be eligible this winter. But the press release isn’t the CBA. When I get the chance to read the new provision, I’ll update you.

There will now be a signing deadline of August 15 for draft picks other than college seniors.

More details as they become available.

ADDENDUM:

LOSS: Another interesting offshoot of the modified CBA — the draft-and-follow process has gone the way of the “re-entry draft” for free agents, the secondary phase of the amateur draft, and New Coke.

That note in the MLB press release tonight that noted a “signing deadline of August 15 for draft picks other than college seniors” was apparently literal — no longer will teams be able to monitor draft picks at two-year schools through an extra spring season, up until the week before the ensuing draft.

While the draft wasn’t shortened, it’s a good bet that plenty of teams won’t stick around for all 50 rounds from this point forward.

WIN: Trey Hillman’s Nippon Ham Fighters squad took Game Three of the Japan Series earlier today, giving them a 2-1 lead over Chunichi in the best-of-seven.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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