Sox, Yanks already winter winners
Free-agent compensation still working more to the benefit of big-market clubs
What could they possibly have won already, when no games are being played and they have not added any new players (yet)? They've won the ability to potentially pick up three additional draft picks apiece, more than any other teams in baseball, because of the "qualifying offer" system that went into place last year in the new collective bargaining agreement.
Rather than the old "Type A" and "Type B" arbitration system, teams may now offer eligible free agents a one-year deal for the average of the top 125 salaries in baseball, which this year comes out to $14.1 million.
ESPN Baseball Tonight with Buster Olney
Buster Olney talks to Tim Kurkjian about the major awards in 2013 and to Jayson Stark about the early maneuvering in baseball's offseason.
If the idea of the draft serving to aid two of the wealthiest teams in the sport, especially when one is the defending champion, seems counterintuitive, it is. Yet that's exactly what the new CBA has brought, as the fears of many who worried that small-market teams would find themselves further handicapped are being realized.
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Giving James Shields a long-term contract for big money wouldn't be a good idea.