The free agency classifications are out, and there are no surprises. Relievers John Grabow and Kevin Gregg are Type A free agents (first round compensation) and Rich Harden is a Type B free agent (sandwich pick compensation). These classifications are interesting in that they demonstrate the one major flaw with the free agent compensation system. As you’ll recall, classifications are based on the player’s performance relative to the rest of baseball at his position. The top 20% are classified as Type A, and the next 20% are Type B. Sounds reasonable.
But the big fat flaw? It doesn’t take into account the fact that all positions are not created equally. Is there anyone out there who would not rather have a top 20% starting pitcher than a top 20% reliever? Come on. That’s just silly.
That said, the classifications are probably of no moment as far as the Cubs are concerned. They still intend to blindly resign John Grabow to a two-year deal as rapidly as possible, instead of simply offering him arbitration – in which case, they either get a pick, or he accepts, and they get him for one year instead of two at the same rate they’re offering him now.
The Cubs are unlikely to offer Harden arbitration, and almost certainly will not offer it to Kevin Gregg.