The draft-pick compensation required to sign Juan Cruz is hindering his signing with another team. Any team that signs Cruz, who is a Type-A free agent, would have to forfeit a top draft pick to the Diamondbacks. It appears that price is too steep for any interested team, which means that Cruz won’t get paid and the Diamondbacks won’t get any picks. I see some gains from trade here. The solution: sign Cruz to a below-market contract, then trade him to another team.
General manager Josh Byrnes said on Monday that it is possible that the right-handed reliever could agree to financial terms on a deal with another team. The D-backs would then sign him to a contract at that price and deal him to the other team in exchange for a player or players.
I can’t say too much,” Byrnes said. “But of late, they’ve talked to the union, we have talked to the Commissioner’s Office to see if there is a way where they could sign through us and then we would receive in trade what we would deem as enough value.”
Cruz, who made a little more than $1.9 million last year, is a Type A free agent. That means that the team that signs him would have to give the D-backs its No. 1 Draft pick — unless that pick falls in the top 16, in which case that team would give up its second-round pick. In addition, the D-backs would get a pick in the compensation round between the first and second rounds.
There is a feeling that teams have been reluctant to sign Cruz because they do not want to give up their Draft pick. The scenario that Byrnes laid out would be a way around that.
It’s moves like these that make me like Josh Byrnes.
The Elias rankings that determine free agent class are embarrassing. Though it’s not the entire problem, it’s not helping here. I’m a Cruz fan, but to classify him as a Type-A free agent is ridiculous. In the next CBA, I expect this will be addressed, possibly through eliminating draft-pick compensation altogether.