Hernandez, who was 11-11 with a 4.93 ERA last year, will likely sign elsewhere, as the team apparently looks to go in another direction. By offering him arbitration, the D-backs will receive what is referred to as a "sandwich" pick between the first and second rounds of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft as compensation should he sign with another club.
That's because Hernandez is a Type-B free agent, according to the rankings put out by the Elias Sports Bureau and used by Major League Baseball to decide on compensation. Players in each league are grouped according to positions and assigned points based on a complex formula that takes into account a player's performance over the past two seasons.
There had been some thought that Hernandez would fall into the Type-A group, which would have given the D-backs the first round pick of the team that signed him, in addition to a sandwich pick.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2006, though, changed the compensation rules and made it more difficult to be classified as a Type-A free agent. Hernandez was ranked as the 29th starting pitcher in the National League. There were 20 Type-A pitchers, with Arizona's Brandon Webb ranking first overall.
The D-backs' other three free agents -- Tony Clark, Jeff Cirillo and reliever Bob Wickman -- did not fall into the Type-A or B categories and did not need to be offered salary arbitration.
Type-A players are ranked in the top 20 percent at their position and Type-B players are in the 21-40 percent group.
Clark was ranked as the 107th player in the combined outfield/first basemen group, while Cirillo was 52nd among second, third and shortstops.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.