Teams primarily offer salary arbitration to classified free agents for the opportunity to receive a compensatory Draft pick or picks if the player signs with another team. As a Type B free agent, John Smoltz was the Braves' only free agent who earned a classification this year.
While the Braves are definitely hoping to re-sign Smoltz, there was no reason for them to make an arbitration offer that he might have accepted. The 41-year-old hurler underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in June, and Smoltz won't know if he'll be able to pitch again until he begins to throw in the middle-to-latter part of December.
Tom Glavine, Mike Hampton, Will Ohman, Greg Norton, Julian Tavarez, Elmer Dessens and Jorge Julio are the Braves' other free agents.
Because none of them were classified as Type A or Type B free agents, the Braves had no reason to offer them arbitration. But this doesn't change the fact that they still have interest in re-signing Glavine, Ohman and Norton.
If a Type A free agent is offered arbitration and signs elsewhere, his former team is compensated with two Draft selections. If the signing club has one of the final 15 selections in the first round of the Draft, the former team's compensation is the signing club's first-round selection and a sandwich selection between the first and second rounds.
If a team that signs an arbitration-offered Type A free agent has one of the Draft's first 15 selections, it doesn't lose its first-round selection. In this case, the former team's compensation is a sandwich selection between the first and second rounds and the signing team's second-round selection.
Teams that sign Type B free agents don't lose Draft picks. But teams that lose Type B free agents through free agency receive a sandwich selection between the first and second rounds.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.