The excellent Web site, mlbtraderumors.com has obtained the final Elias Sports Bureau free-agent rankings for this offseason and two of the Orioles' seven pending free agents are listed.
Pitchers Kevin Millwood and Koji Uehara are both Type B free agents, meaning if the Orioles offer them arbitration and they refuse and sign elsewhere, the Orioles will receive a supplemental pick after the first round of the 2011 amateur draft.
None of the other five Orioles' free agents – Ty Wigginton, Julio Lugo, Mark Hendrickson, Cesar Izturis or Corey Patterson – would land the Orioles compensation if they go to another team. The rankings are based on a complicated formula that takes the previous two seasons into consideration.
I wouldn't expect the Orioles to offer arbitration to Millwood because he might consider accepting after a difficult 2010 and he could receive a relatively high award given his experience, past salaries, etc.
Uehara is a little different. The Orioles want him back if the price is right. They might gamble for the draft pick, chancing that the arbitration filing could be reasonable. My guess is they won't, but it certainly is possible.
Another thing worth mentioning about the rankings: Most of the first basemen the Orioles are targeting are Type A, meaning the Orioles will have to surrender their second-round pick in 2011 if they sign one that has been offered arbitration (normally it would be a first-rounder, but the Orioles' pick high enough that their first-rounder is protected).
The following corner infielders are Type A: Adrian Beltre, Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Derrek Lee and Victor Martinez. Type B players – meaning that their old teams would receive supplemental-round compensation, but their new team wouldn't have to give up a pick – include Carlos Pena, Aubrey Huff and Lance Berkman, whose option already wasn't picked up by the New York Yankees, making the offer of arbitration unlikely.
One more thing: Miguel Tejada is a Type A, meaning the Orioles could have gotten two picks for him instead of trading him for minor league pitcher Wynn Pelzer in July. But there's no guarantee Tejada would have remained a Type A in Baltimore, considering his play improved dramatically while in San Diego. And, as some readers have pointed out, it wouldn't be a stretch to say he might have accepted arbitration as well.
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