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MLB Player Rankings: Abreu, Rollins, Wagner top NL at their positions

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Elias Sports Bureau has released their annual player rankings, which are used to determine free agent compensation. The list finds that three Phillies are tops at their positions in the National League: shortstop Jimmy Rollins, right fielder Bobby Abreu, and relief pitcher Billy Wagner. Here's a link to the full list of "Type A" players.

If you're wondering where Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are, fear not: the formula Elias uses combines stats from both of the last two seasons in determining player value for compensation purposes. Since Utley was a part-timer in 2004, he finishes 25th of the 25 second basemen, third basemen and shortstops considered "Type A"; Howard, who only came up for a few September at-bats in '04, doesn't appear on the list of first basemen and outfielders. They both should be at or near the top next winter.

Albert Pujols of the Cardinals was the highest-rated player in all of MLB, with a 98.519 score. His closest competition came from Mark Texiera of Texas, Twins ace Johan Santana, and Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero. The ratings run on a scale of 1 to 100. Prominent rated Phillies include:

C Mike Lieberthal, 79.151
1b Jim Thome, 71.11
2b Chase Utley, 65.84
SS Jimmy Rollins, 87.192
RF Bobby Abreu, 91.900
LF Pat Burrell, 85.000
SP Jon Lieber, 81,990
SP Brett Myers, 67,832
SP Cory Lidle, 66.846
RP Billy Wagner, 93.854
RP Ryan Madson, 78.326
RP Ugueth Urbina, 73.227

And here are the rules for compensation. Of the Phillie free-agents-to-be, only Wagner and Urbina qualify here.

  • If a team that finished in the top 15 in 2005 signs another team's "A" player, it must surrender its first-round pick in the 2006 amateur draft to the losing team.

  • If the signing team was in the bottom 15, it must give up its second-round pick.

  • Teams that lose an "A" player also get a "sandwich" pick, which comes between the first and second rounds.

Considering that Urbina and Wagner are both virtually certain to decline arbitration if they don't sign contracts, the team should make offers to both and recoup badly needed picks to start restocking the system.