- Expanded Playoffs start next year. Talked about this the other day, I don't like it, because if you played 162 games and won 85 you clearly aren't the best team so what the hell are you doing in the playoffs to determine the champion? I'm sure it will add excitement and revenue, though. And for some reason the wishes of the bulk of the fans and the league matter more than my own. (Side note: I would have loved to see a "winning record" clause added though, where as a division winner who finishes under .500 can't make the playoffs.)
- "The agreement eliminates the Type A and Type B rankings for free agents, who will be subject to compensation if their former club offers a guaranteed one-year contract with a salary equal to the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players from the prior season." That average is about $12 million for 2012 from what I read. Unless I am understanding something wrong (and feel free to correct me - a quick scan at lunch is all I could afford today), this applies to all free agents. So if you are looking to get compensation for a free agent lost the cost has gone way up for mediocre to good players, but actually drops for great players. It's doubtful it will have much of an effect on the great players leaving (you'd be silly to not give up a draft pick for Pujols or Fielder this year, or Zimm after 2013) but we will probably see a few more Jonny Gomeseses on the market.
- "The penalties for exceeding a calculated monetary figure on Draft picks -- who can be signed only to Minor League contracts -- will be between 75 and 100 percent of the overage, as well as the potential loss of first- and second-round selections." This really forces teams to use MLBs "slot" figures on draft deals, to the point where if you try to buy your way to being good through the draft (like Washington has done recently) you could lose picks. I don't see anyway young players can get around this as there is no age restriction, or restriction on signing with other professional leagues. Also once you enroll in a high school in the USA you are considered a US resident in terms of the draft. So to circumvent the draft your parents would have to move to a foreign country (not Canada) before you were in high school. Maybe home school?
- "Teams with the lowest revenues and in the smallest markets will have an opportunity to obtain additional Draft picks through a lottery." Huh? Need to read more about this but in general I think baseball is agressively trying to even the playing field, for better or worse.
- "In addition, the 15 teams in the largest markets will be disqualified from receiving revenue sharing by 2016." I now what this does in spirit but I'm not sure what this really does in practice, since I can't think of a large market team accused of tanking in order to gain revenue. Fifteen does seem pretty arbitrary a cut off though. I don't know how they figure it but this definitely includes DC. Houston is another one that won't escape. the Marlins, Mariners, Rays, and Twins all could sneak in depending.
Any other Nats minor league FAs worth noting? I think Matt Antonelli will be a big help to the Orioles next year. Sorry if that makes you mad for some reason. But again with Espinoa, Zimm and Rendon (and maybe Lombardozzi) a 26 year old is not gonna get his chance. Still, I'll miss checking the blog. Here's him in a tub for the ladies! Archie Gilbert was a guy who might have finally gotten it on the field last year (or it could have been a fluke). He's speedy too which means some team will be willing to pick him up, even if he might not have gotten it together off the field.