Updated: October 15th, 2012 9:55pm
MLB's new free agent compensation system unlikely to affect Twins

MLB's new free agent compensation system unlikely to affect Twins

by Phil Mackey
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As part of Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, free agent compensation has changed drastically heading into this offseason.

Those changes are highly unlikely to affect the Minnesota Twins.

In order to receive draft-pick compensation for impending free agents, teams must offer those players a one-year deal equal to the average salary of the top 125 highest-paid players in baseball. That figure works out to approximately $12.4 million.

If the player rejects the offer and signs elsewhere, his former team receives a compensation draft pick between the first and second rounds.

The Twins' only impending free agent (without a buyout or team option attached) is right-hander Carl Pavano, who earned $8.5 million in 2012 in the final year of his two-year contract. Pavano, 36, missed the entire second half of the season due to shoulder problems, and he's unlikely to pick up a baseball until December.

The Twins do not plan to offer Pavano the aforementioned one-year, $12.4 million contract.

Free agents may officially sign with any team on the sixth day after the completion of the World Series. Teams have five days after the World Series to offer a one year, $12.4 million contract, and players then have seven days to accept or decline.

On the flip side, if the Twins sign a free agent who rejected his former team's qualifying offer, the Twins would have to give up their second-round pick. First round picks are protected in the top 10. That second-round pick would simply be dissolved.

Under the old system, impending free agents were ranked into three categories by the Elias Sports Bureau: Type A, Type B or unranked.

If a team signed a Type-A free agent, they would have to give their first round draft pick to the player's former team as compensation. If that first-round pick was in the top 15, the former team would instead gain a second round pick. The former team also received a "sandwich" pick between the first and second rounds.

If a team signed a Type-B free agent under the old system, the former team would be given a "sandwich" pick. The signing team was able to keep their first-round pick.

Unranked free agents collected no compensation for their former teams.

The Twins have received 12 free agent compensation draft picks since 2004 as a result of Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Orlando Hudson, Jesse Crain, DennysReyes, Torii Hunter (two picks), Corey Koskie, Eddie Guardado (two picks) and LaTroy Hawkins (two picks).

With those extra picks the team has selected RHP Jose Berrios, RHP Luke Bard, 3B Travis Harrison, RHP Hudson Boyd, LHP Matt Bashore, RHP Carlos Gutierrez, RHP Shooter Hunt, 1B Hank Sanchez, LHP Glen Perkins, RHP Kyle Waldrop, RHP Matt Fox and RHP Jay Rainville.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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