Nov 022010
 

Though much less heralded, it’s free agency for minor leaguers today with the close of the World Series last night. The official list will be made public later this month, but here’s a rundown of the unofficial/potential MLFAs in the Nats system:

Catchers
Devin Ivany
Brian Peacock
Jamie Burke
Carlos Maldonado

Infielders
Brian Bixler
Seth Bynum
Chris Duncan
Chase Lambin
Pedro Lopez
Michael Martinez
Luis Ordaz
Pete Orr
Ofilio Castro
Adam Fox

Outfielders
Marvin Lowrance
Leonard Davis
Jason Botts
Jerry Owens
Edgardo Baez
Jesus Valdez
Brad Coon
Jamar Walton

Starting Pitchers
Andrew Kown
Jason Jones
Robinson Fabian

Relievers
Chuck James
Rafael Martin
Yunior Novoa
Zach Dials
Carlos Martinez
Jimmy Barthmaier
Luis Garcia
Glenn Gibson

Now it’s certainly possible that some of these folks have already agreed to a successor contract, i.e. an agreement to to re-sign with the organization prior to the deadline for filing for MLFA, but that information isn’t exactly public. We’ll know more in a couple weeks, particularly as the Rule 5 draft comes onto the radar.

UPDATE: Seems I forgot to list the pitchers (cue Red Foreman) and missed an OF, but thanks to frequent reader BinM, here they are.

  7 Responses to “Minor-League Free Agency Starts Today, Too”

  1. Sue_D: OF Jamar Walton might have qualified for this list as well (Drafted in 2004 – FLA). Off your list, there are a few players (Ivany, Peacock, Bynum, Lambin & Davis) that I’d like to see get a ML shot somewhere, if not in DC.

    Don’t know if you’re planning on running down the mlFA pitchers tomorrow, but here’ s my extremely unofficial list, FWIW…

    Starters
    Andrew Kown
    Jason Jones
    Robinson Fabian

    Relievers
    Chuck James
    Rafael Martin
    Yunior Novoa
    Zach Dials
    Carlos Martinez
    Jimmy Barthmaier
    Luis Garcia
    Glenn Gibson

    • I must have got distracted this a.m. — two schoolage kids home due to Fairfax County school in-service days — so I may as well add these in. Thanks for the catch.

  2. What makes a player a free agent in the Minors?

    • There are some funky exceptions, but here’s a great rundown from IndiansProspectinsider.com:

      Who is eligible: If a player is not on the 40-man roster, a minor leaguer is eligible for free agency and becomes a minor league free agent (MLFA) six years after their first season ends with an organization. This is why they are often called “six year minor league free agents” because they become a free agent after six renewal options afforded to the major league organization have all expired.

      In general, once a player has six full seasons in the minors he is eligible for minor league free agency. For example, if a player was drafted in June of 2004 and signed in July of the same year, then his renewal seasons were 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 and he would be a minor league free agent after the 2010 season.

      There is an exception to this rule for a player that has been released from their first organization before they have used up all six renewal options. When this happens and the player signs with another club, that organization has the option of signing the player to as many years as they want up until the expiration of their sixth renewable contract. In most cases, however, the new club opts to sign the player to a one year deal, and even if the player has not had six full seasons he would be a MLFA after that season.

      Also, a player does not become a MLFA if they agree to a successor contract prior to October 15th. A successor contract is basically just an agreement between player and organization to extend and sign for the following season in the period between the end of the season and the start of minor league free agency (this is what happened with Adam Miller and Juan Apodaca this offseason).

      Timeline: On August 1st the Commissioner issues a listing of all players eligible to become MLFAs for the upcoming offseason. On October 15th a player officially becomes a minor league free agent (MLFA) if the club that originally signed him no longer has one of their six renewal options available to them. On October 16th the Commissioner issues the final MLFA list to all clubs, and a MLFA may negotiate a deal with any major league club for a major league or minor league contract.

  3. That’s a good point about the Rule 5; this will be the first year the Nats will probably lose somebody that will hurt. It’s going to be a very interesting time.

  4. Who on this list do you really think they should be keeping? While I obviously don’t want to see all these guys gone, not many stick out as must haves for me. Just wondering your thoughts

    • I’d be partial to keeping Peacock, Ivany, James and Carlos Martinez because they can fit in and be deployed as needed from A+ to AAA. By definition, most MLFAs are fliers and fillers, but I don’t harbor them ill will just because they didn’t pan out or because they didn’t live up to someone else’s hype.

      In fact, I often hope for some guys to go to indy ball and make some hay if only for one summer so they can experience success again — and every now and then, you get a guy that was simply a late bloomer. Hagerstown readers may remember a guy named Vic Davilla who was an MI for the Jays: .260 hitter, below-avg fielder. But he went to the indys and became a monster, hitting .313 with 132 HRs and 554 RBI over the next 12 seasons (roughly, 20RBI and 85RBI in a MiLB season) Obviously, that much success over a such a long time is a rarity (most guys just retire) but it happens.

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