Compensation system broken 

December, 24, 2008
12/24/08
3:57
PM ET
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin is absolutely right with his comments to ESPN's Buster Olney -- the system of awarding draft picks for the loss of free agents is broken.

Melvin's argument, that the Elias formula is inaccurate (it is) and out of date (ditto), is dead on, as the relative rankings of players often defy both common sense and even a superficial bit of sabermetric analysis. But rather than revising the system by monkeying with the Elias formula, why not go one better and scrap the system entirely?

Owners argue that the idea behind taking a draft pick from the team that signs a top free agent and giving it to the team that lost the free agent is just a matter of compensating the latter team, with the presumption that large-market clubs will typically be in the former category while small-market clubs will typically be in the latter.

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