Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kubel signing shapes Twins 2012 draft picks

For the second time in less than a week, the Twins saw a long-time player leave the organization as a free agent. Last week, Michael Cuddyer headed to Colorado and signed a 3-year deal worth $30 million with the Rockies. Reports surfaced yesterday morning that Jason Kubel signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the neighborhood of $15 million with a mutual option for a third year. This means that all of the free agents from the Twins that were eligible for draft compensation have found their clubs for next season. It also means that the Twins have a rough estimate of where they will get to pick in the first round, supplemental round, and second round of the 2012 MLB Draft.

The new collective bargaining agreement that was announced at the end of November changed some of the rules in regards to compensation for free agents. Under the old system, Matt Capps and Cuddyer would have been Type A free agents while Kubel would have been a Type B free agent. There were a lot of changes to the system for the current offseason and the rules will be different for next offseason. MLB.com put together an article that explains a lot of the intricacies of the new plan and how it impacted this year's free agents.

Here is how it broke down for each of the free agents from the Twins.

Matt Capps
Formerly Type A, Modified to Type B- Signed with the Twins 
With the changes to the CBA, the Twins did not have to offer arbitration to Capps and the team would have still received a draft pick in the supplemental round for him signing with another team. When this news came out, many Twins fans rejoiced because there seemed to be no way the club would offer him arbitration. It was like getting a free draft pick for letting Capps sign with another team. In the end, the Twins really liked what Capps brought to the table and they resigned him to be the team's closer for 2012. 
Draft pick compensation: The club won't receive draft compensation since he resigned with the team. 

Michael Cuddyer
Formerly Type A, Modified to lower Type A- Signed with Rockies
The Twins offered arbitration to Cuddyer and he graciously declined since he was in the market for a multi-year contract. His new lower Type A status meant that the team signing him would not be forced to give up a draft pick to add him to their roster. Instead, the Twins would receive the pick immediately before the highest one they would have received under the old rules. They also get a pick in the supplemental round as compensation for him leaving. Unfortunately for Twins fans, the Rockies first round pick was in the top 15 picks and so it was protected. This means the Twins will get still get their supplemental round pick for Cuddyer but their other pick won't be until the pick right before the Rockies in round two.
Draft pick compensation: 1st pick of the supplemental round (32nd pick overall), 12th pick of the second round (73rd pick overall)

Jason Kubel
Formerly Type B, Stayed Type B - Signed with Diamondbacks
Kubel's free agent status did not change under the new rules of the CBA. Earlier in the offseason, the Twins offered arbitration to the outfielder/DH and he turned down the offer. He hoped for a multi-year deal from a team when he hit the open market. Under the new rules and the old rules, the Twins would receive a supplemental round pick for him signing with another club.
Draft pick compensation: 11th pick of the supplemental round (42nd pick overall)

There are still some unsigned free agents who could disrupt the picks mentioned above and knock the Twins down a spot. Prince Fielder and Ryan Madson are both Type A free agents who have yet to sign with a club. If either of these players signs with a club having a top-15 pick, the second compensation pick for Cuddyer would move back a spot into the second round. Also, if any of the Type B free agents sign with the Astros, the compensation for Kubel would be pushed back a spot. But for the most part, these are the spots the Twins will be making big selections during next June.

The folks over at Twinkie Town have the complete draft order with yesterday's signing of Kubel already included but here is the summary for the first round, supplemental round, and second round.

Minnesota Twins 2012 MLB Draft Order
First Round: 2nd pick
Supplemental Round: 1st pick (32nd overall), 11th pick (42nd overall)
Second Round: 3rd pick (64th overall), 12th pick (73rd overall) 

Following one of the worst season's in team history, it is nice to see the amount of high draft picks the Twins will have in next year's draft. The farm system for the organization needed to be restocked with some upper level prospects and the draft is the best way to accomplish this feat. It stinks to see players leave after spending their entire careers in the organization but the draft picks help to soothe my pain. 

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