Apparently it’s not exactly as black and white as one would think.
If a team signs a Type A free agent, its first-round pick goes to the former team -- unless that pick is in the top 15, in which case a second-round pick goes to the former team. The former team also gets an extra pick between the first and second rounds.Currently as it stands, the Blue Jays receive the Red Sox # 29 pick in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft. But after letting go of Billy Wagner, the Red Sox recoup their pick from the Braves and get pick # 20 in the first round.
The Red Sox on the other hand could lose their # 20 pick if the Braves sign a Type A free agent ranked higher than Billy Wagner was (who is currently 34th) and would subsequently be bumped to the second round of the draft.
It appears that very same thing will happen to the Blue Jays # 29 pick recently inhereted from Boston. All the Red Sox would have to do is sign a Type A free agent who was offered arbitration that is ranked higher than Marco Scutaro (who is currently 20th) to bump the Jays pick into the second round. They would simply have to ink Matt Holliday, and suddenly the Jays dreams of having two picks in the first round would be all but crushed.
Faithful BJH commenter Peter D has pointed out that the Red Sox could theoretically let Jason Bay walk, and meanwhile sign free agent Matt Holliday and still improve their standing in the draft. One thing's for sure, Theo Epstein is one crafty cat.
That means if the Red Sox do in fact sign Matt Holliday (which they are expected to do), in turn the Cardinals would receive the Red Sox # 29 pick and the Blue Jays would be SOL.
So much for the first round pick.
I guess Alex Anthopoulos initially screwed the Red Sox by taking both John McDonald and Alex Gonzalez off the free agent market, basically forcing Boston to overpay Marco Scutaro. It now appears that Epstein will get the last laugh, as any first round picks the Blue Jays were hoping on gaining from Marco Scutaro have all but flown out the window.
I don't claim to be an expert on Elias Rankings, free agents and whatnot, so if anywhere in this post I have been mislead, please let me know in the comments below or send me an email.