After last night's deadline for free agents to accept or reject arbitration, there are 10 Type A players remaining that would cost the Orioles a draft pick if they signed them this offseason.
They are: third baseman Adrian Beltre, first basemen Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko, outfielders Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth, starters Cliff Lee and Carl Pavano, and relievers Grant Balfour, Scott Downs and Rafael Soriano.
Of that group, Konerko, Dunn and perhaps Pavano and the relievers could figure into the Orioles' plans. Beltre is also a target, but I'm continually skeptical that he'll end up in Baltimore.
Because the Orioles' first round pick is protected (since it is so high) and there are so many potential supplemental picks – a rough estimate is 30 – the Orioles would surrender a second-round pick in 2011 if they sign one of the above. That translates into roughly a late second-rounder or an early third-rounder in most years.
That wouldn't deter them from grabbing a primary target such as Konerko or Beltre. It may not deter them from signing a reliever either – they surrendered a second-rounder last year to sign Michael Gonzalez. I hear the groans now.
A lot has been made about the Orioles forfeiting another draft pick, since they need to replenish their farm system and 2011 is considered a deep amateur draft. That said, the baseball draft is such a crapshoot, especially after the first 50 or so players are off the board, so there is no guarantee that a second-rounder in 2011 will ever sniff the majors. Besides, talented players often drop due to signing demands (Jake Arrieta for instance), so where a team picks often doesn't make much of a difference after the first round anymore.
Since they wouldn't lose a first-rounder, I don't think it matters much if the Orioles give up a second-rounder for someone they think can help now (and the above group is a pretty good list). But there are plenty of you out there that don't want to see the Orioles lose any draft picks at all, given the lack of the quality in the farm system.
That's understandable, so this entry is for you.
Who would you forfeit a draft pick for?