Hot off the wires. The Phils free agent-eligible guys are classed thusly:
OF David Dellucci
C Mike Lieberthal
RP Aaron Fultz
RP Arthur Rhodes (thanks fredex1)
Type C/No Compensation:
SP Randy Wolf
RP Rick White
UT Jose Hernandez
The key here is whether the Phillies can extract compensation in next June's draft for the Type A guys they might lose. (The changes in the new collective bargaining agreement regarding Type A free agents don't go into effect until next year.) I don't think these rankings alter the likelihood of the Phils offering arbitration to either Dellucci (they will) or Lieberthal (they won't). With Fultz, though, it's a bit of a question: supposedly they're not interested in bringing him back, and I agree that he's probably not worth the upwards of $1.5 million he could get in arbitration. But the risk of paying him that might be justified if they conclude that some truly moronic team--or maybe one that doesn't want to bother paying a draft pick--might want him as a free agent.
That Dellucci is classified as Type A at all is great and somewhat surprising news. (He barely made it, probably on the strength of all those homers he hit in 2005--Elias ranks players using a formula that takes the previous two seasons into account.) He'll get a deal somewhere, probably in the neighborhood of three years, $8-10 million, and the Phils should recoup two picks--a first- or second-rounder, depending on where the signing team finished in 2006, plus a sandwich pick. That assurance also should give the team greater comfort in playing the market themselves, as was the case last year when they lost their pick to the Yankees for signing Tom Gordon but got one from the Mets, plus the sandwich, for losing Billy Wagner.
Also worth noting is that under the new CBA, the Phils, or any other team, now can sign Type B free agents without having to surrender their own picks. I'll look at the implications of this in a future article.