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So here’s an interesting one (hat tip: Pinto):

Free agents cannot be traded before June 15 without their consent, but the union will permit Cruz and other Type A players to waive that right, according to Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice-president of labor relations.

Such a waiver would enable the Diamondbacks to trade Cruz immediately after signing him. The D-backs would need to strike a deal within a set amount of time, probably 48 hours, major-league sources say. If no trade were completed, Cruz would remain a free agent.

“Historically, the union has been reluctant to allow advance waivers on blocking trades,” Manfred said. “They’ve expressed a willingness to allow it. We’ve given clubs advice on how to operate given the union’s willingness.”

No, players arent totally free agents. Manny Ramirez might have to take less to sign with another team… but that’s the whole point of the compensation system, which the owners have collectively bargained for. It’s only the marginal guys, like Cruz, who really get shafted by mistakenly being labeled a Type A free agent by Elias.

The easiest solution would be to finally give Elias the boot. They are the Microsoft of baseball stats, constantly trying to catch up with smarter competitors, but still getting the lion’s share of the business, just because they always have. If STATS Inc. or BIS or pretty much any other non-Elias company were put in charge of this process, Juan Cruz wouldn’t be a Type A in the first place.

But is it really worth it for the players to fight this issue? Probably not, at least in terms of net dollars (i.e. they’re not going to be able to increase the overall pay scale by making the rating process more realistic). But it’s certainly worth it for the owners to take the not-so-drastic step of changing providers; why should the D-Backs be rewarded by Elias’s ineptitude?

Feedback? Write a comment, or e-mail the author at shawn(AT)squawkingbaseball.com

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  1. on February 17th at 12:01 pm
    Dave Ireland said:

    A sign and trade would set a dangerous precedent especially with Cabrera and Hudson still not signed. I wonder how Varitek would take this.

    I believe if the remaining type A’s wait till June 1 there will be no compensation attached to them. That could work for Cruz, who would be a great second half pick up for a contending team.

    I agree though, down with ELIAS. Love the BIS shout out.

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