With the World Series coming to a close on Wednesday, yesterday marked the first day players with six or more years of major league service could file for free agency. Four Braves filed on the first day, none of whom should come as a big surprise. So far, Garret Anderson, Mike Gonzalez, Adam LaRoche and Greg Norton have filed for free agency. Under the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Braves now have until November 19th to negotiate a contract with these players or offer arbitration. After November 19th, any player who has not agreed to a contract or arbitration will be free to negotiate with the other 29 clubs.
LaRoche and Gonzalez have both expressed their desire to stay with Atlanta, but it remains to be seen if the Braves will have any interest. Rafael Soriano is the only other player eligible to file for free agency and is expected to do so any day now.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, free agents are classified as Type A or Type B players. Type A players are in the top 20% of players at their position. Type B players are ranked somewhere between the top 21-40% of players at their position. Both Gonzalez and Soriano are Type A, while LaRoche and Anderson are Type B. If a Type A player declines arbitration or signs with another club before December 1st, the Braves will receive the first round draft pick of the team signing the player and a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds. However, if the team signing the Type A player has one of the first fifteen picks in the first round, then the Braves would receive a sandwich round pick between the first and second rounds and the receiving team's second round pick. For a Type B player who declines arbitration or is signed before December 1st, the Braves would receive a sandwich round pick between the first and second rounds.
If the Braves decided they were going to keep one of these four...who would you want to see in a Braves uniform in 2010?