October 31, 2008

Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia have timed their free agency especially well, as they are among the highest-ranked players in the 2008 Elias player rankings, according to documents obtained by SI.com

Teixeira, the Angels first baseman, received the highest grade at 98.889, while Sabathia, the ace of the Brewers, was third at 98.110 in the rankings that are used to determine which players are Type A and B free agents. Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday, who is on the trading block but not a free agent until after the 2009 season, was second overall at 98.125.

In addition to Teixeira and Sabathia, the other Type A free agents according to the documents are Bobby Abreu, Doug Brocail, A.J. Burnett, Pat Burrell, Orlando Cabrera, Juan Cruz, Ryan Dempster, Adam Dunn, Brian Fuentes, Brian Giles, Trevor Hoffman, Bobby Howry, Orlando Hudson, Raul Ibanez, Derek Lowe, Damaso Marte, Jamie Moyer, Mike Mussina, Darren Oliver, Oliver Perez, Andy Pettitte, Manny Ramirez, Edgar Renteria, Francisco Rodriguez, Ben Sheets, Russ Springer, Jason Varitek and Kerry Wood.

The Type B free agents are Jeremy Affeldt, Moises Alou, Garret Anderson, Luis Ayala, Joe Beimel, Casey Blake, Casey Blake, Milton Bradley, Paul Byrd, Mike Cameron, Alan Embree, Eric Gagne, Jon Garland, Luis Gonzalez, Ken Griffey, Mark Grudzielanek, LaTroy Hawkins, Jason Isringhausen, Randy Johnson, Jeff Kent, Paul LoDuca, Braden Looper, Mark Loretta, Brandon Lyon, Greg Maddux, Brad Penny, Denny Reyes, Arthur Rhodes, Ivan Rodriguez, Rudy Seanez, Brian Shouse, John Smoltz, Frank Thomas, Salomon Torres, Juan Uribe, David Weathers, Randy Wolf and Gregg Zaun.

Teams that lose a Type A free agent receive the top draft pick from the signing team in addition to a supplemental pick. Teams losing a Type B free agent receive a supplemental pick, while the signing team retains its draft choice.

The rankings are based on statistical data from the Elias Sports Bureau. Stars ranked in the top 20 percent are considered Type A free agents, while those players in the next 20 percent are considered Type B free agents. Players who are neither consider A or B players are considered unclassified and don't affect draft choices. The rankings are grouped by positions and based on statistics from the previous two seasons.

In the American League, Teixeira was the highest-ranked player in the category of first base, outfielder and DH at 98.889, followed by Magglio Ordonez (96.316) and David Ortiz (94.545). Joe Mauer was the top catcher at 89.401, followed by Victor Martinez (88.018) and Jorge Posada (84.793).

In the AL, Alex Rodriguez was the top-ranked third baseman, shortstop or second baseman at 95.031, followed by Michael Young (88.000) and Mike Lowell (86.957). Roy Halladay was the top starting pitcher at 95.058 followed by John Lackey (93.217) and Josh Beckett (90.310). Joe Nathan was the top relief pitcher at 92.845 followed by Joakim Soria (92.297) and J.J. Putz (91.612).

In the National League, Holliday was the highest-ranked player in the category of first baseman, outfielder and DH at 98.125 followed by Albert Pujols (95.385) and Manny Ramirez (93.438). Russell Martin was the top catcher at 85.328 followed by Geovany Soto (81.467) and Brian McCann (81.081).

In the NL, Chase Utley was the top third baseman, shortstop or second baseman at 92.411 followed by David Wright (89.560) and Chipper Jones (86.813). Sabathia was the top starting pitcher at 98.110 followed by Brandon Webb (96.392) and World Series MVP Cole Hamels (92.784). Takashi Saito was the top relief pitcher at 88.678 followed by Brad Lidge (87.919) and Heath Bell (87.423).

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