FanShot

Byrd likely to move, unlikely to net a draft pick

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Keith Law makes an interesting point in his article today, in which Paul Byrd leads a list of six players likely to make it through waivers and into an August trade: "Byrd was just barely a Type B free agent in 2007 and could slip to no-compensation status this year, which means Cleveland could get nothing for him after the season. That gives the Indians plenty of incentive to make a trade this month if Byrd ..." Under current rules, players in the top 20 percent are classified as Type A, while other players who are in the top 40 percent are classified as a Type B. Currently, losing a Type B player to free agency nets the team a "sandwich round" pick, usually around the 40th overall pick. Most recently, the Indians selected David Huff in the sandwich round in 2006, as compensation for losing Bob Howry. (As a fun side-note, could it turn out that Howry's picks, Huff and Wes Hodges, contribute more than Thome's picks, Brad Snyder and Adam Miller?) The Elias rankings place each player within their own league and position group (AL pitchers, NL catchers, etc.). Byrd was ranked #34 out of 85 AL pitchers last year, the lowest possible spot to yield a draft pick. Next year's rankings will use each player's stats from 2007-2008 rather than from 2006-2007, meaning that 2006 numbers are basically swapped out for 2008. After last night's seven-inning gem, Byrd is now on pace (180 IP, 4.72 ERA) to match his 2006 numbers (179 IP, 4.88 ERA) — yet even if he ends up with slightly better numbers than that, his overall two-year ranking is still likely to drop out of the top 40 percent, because run scoring is down across the league.. The league average ERA has dropped from 4.56 in 2006 to 4.20 in 2008 — meaning that Byrd's competition to be in the top 40 percent is going to be tougher. While only 28 starters in the AL managed an ERA under 4.80 in 2006, there are 38 so far this season. His strikeouts are also a bit down, and his wins and winning percentage (5-10 record) are well off the numbers he lucked into in 2006 (10-9). Bottom line, unless Byrd goes on a bit of a run to end the season, he won't be netting any team a draft pick.

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