You've probably heard talk around these parts about Type A free agents, Type B free agents, arbitration and the like. As a short primer, what that means is that players are ranked within a group of positions. The best of the best earn an "A" ranking based on a formula only known to the Elias Bureau. The second group earns a "B" ranking. The rest are unranked.
If a team offers a player arbitration when his free agency period ends, the player can either accept the offer or reject it. Type A free agents who reject arbitration may cost the team that signs them a first-round draft pick, depending whether their pick is protected due to finishing in the lower half of the standings. Teams also receive compensation picks. Type B free agents do not cost a first-round pick, but they still earn their club compensation.
OK, so why did I just bring all that up? Well you may know that former Tigers blogger Eddie Bajek used his mathematical prowess to crack the code. Not perfectly, mind you. But his predicted rankings are quite close to the actual results. Close enough to use as fans, anyway. He has released his most recent 2010 rankings at MLB Trade Rumors, which owns the results.
I thought I'd peruse a few names of interest to Tigers fans, either because they could be targets in the future or they are Tigers themselves. (This last point is more out of interest rather than any expectations the Tigers would offer too many in this year's crop arbitration). Some of these guys may have available options, by the way.
Magglio Ordonez -- note: I do not know how this works given the Tigers declined to pick up Ordonez's option. Please enlighten me if you truly know and are not just guessing.
Ryan Raburn -- OK, he's not going to be a free agent, but good news anyway
C Victor Matinez
SS Miguel Tejada
OF Carl Crawford; Jayson Werth
SP Cliff Lee -- Despite what the Tigers say, I'm including him in the list; Carl Pavano -- Probably not a target, but of interest; Ted Lilly; Jorge de la Rosa
RP Rafael Soriano; Scott Downs; Grant Balfour; Jason Frasor; Takashi Saito; Arthur Rhodes
C John Buck
1B/DH Adam Dunn
OF Hideki Matsui, Brad Hawpe
2B Orlando Hudson -- unlikely target but included. Also cannot be offered arbitration
RP Joaquin Benoit; Chad Durbin (hee hee!); Jon Rauch; Koji Uehara