Elias Rankings Updated

What a wonderful day today is shaping up to be. First, we learned that only the Seattle Mariners and Pittsburgh Pirates have shown up on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball fewer times than the Toronto Blue Jays since 2004, then we found out when Roy Halladay would be making his return to the pitching mound at Rogers Centre, and now, MLBTR has released its updated projections for this year’s Elias Rankings.

As you’ll remember, the end of year rankings given out by the Elias Sports Bureau are decided by first breaking the players into five different groups and then ranking them in those groups according to a point system based on the following statistics:

  • Group One (1B/OF/DH): PA, AVG, OBP, HR, RBI
  • Group Two (2B/3B/SS): PA, AVG, OBP, HR, RBI, Fielding percentage, Total chances at designated position
  • Group Three (C): PA, AVG, OBP, HR, RBI, Fielding percentage, Assists
  • Group Four (SP): Total games (total starts + 0.5 * total relief appearances), IP, Wins, W-L Percentage, ERA, Strikeouts
  • Group Five (RP): Total games (total relief appearances + 2 * total starts), IP (weighted slightly less than other categories), Wins + Saves, IP/H ratio, K/BB, ER

The rankings are then used to decide which free agents will require compensation for their former teams once they’re signed during the offseason. For instance, in addition to a pick in the supplemental round, a Type A free agent requires a first round draft pick from signing teams who finished the season 1-15 in the standings, or a second round pick from signing teams who finished 16-30 in the standings. Meanwhile, a Type B free agent only wins his former team a pick in the supplemental round once he signs with another club.

Here are some of the more interesting rankings for potential free agents:

Group One (1B/OF/DH)

  • Albert Pujols, STL: Type A
  • Prince Fielder, MIL: Type A
  • David Ortiz, BOS: Type A
  • Michael Cuddyer, MIN: Type A
  • Josh Willingham, OAK: Type A
  • Carlos Beltran, NYM: Type B
  • Cody Ross, SFG: Type B
  • Corey Patterson, TOR: None (Not even close)

Group Two (2B/3B/SS)

  • J.J. Hardy, BAL: Type A
  • Kelly Johnson, ARI: Type A
  • Mark Ellis, OAK: Type A
  • Jose Reyes, NYM: Type A
  • Aaron Hill, TOR: Type B

Group Three (C)

  • Jorge Posada, NYY: Type B
  • Chris Snyder, PIT: Type B
  • Ryan Doumit, PIT: Type B
  • Ivan Rodriguez, WAS: Type B
  • Jose Molina, TOR: None (less than two points behind AL Type B bubble holder Jason Varitek)

Group Four (SP)

  • C.C. Sabathia, NYY: Type A
  • C.J. Wilson, TEX: Type A

Group Five (RP)

  • Koji Uehara, BAL: Type A
  • Ryan Madson, PHI: Type A
  • Matt Capps, MIN: Type A
  • Heath Bell, SDP: Type A
  • Kyle Farnsworth, TBR: Type A
  • Jonathan Paplebon: BOS: Type A
  • Jason Frasor, TOR: Type B
  • Frank Francisco, TOR: Type B
  • Jon Rauch, TOR: Type B
  • Octavio Dotel, TOR: Type B

The Toronto Blue Jays could get as many as six supplemental picks in next year’s draft just based on the players that they have on their roster right now. However, in the case of Hill, Molina and Dotel, there’s a chance that those players would accept their arbitration offer and attempt to resign with Toronto, figuring that they’re unlikely to make the same amount of money on the open market. Even so, it’s important to remember that at the trade deadline, it may be in the team’s best interest to keep prospective free agents rather than trade them for fringe prospects.

The Minnesota Twins, New York Mets and Oakland A’s will all likely be in a similar place as the Blue Jays if they find themselves as sellers at the deadline. Any trade has to bring back the equivalent or better than what that player gets them through compensation if they sign elsewhere in the offseason.