CHICAGO -- The White Sox have decided against offering salary arbitration to their free agents, outfielder Jermaine Dye, right-handed reliever Octavio Dotel, outfielder Scott Podsednik and backup catcher Ramon Castro, a decision needing to be made by 11 p.m. CT on Tuesday.
And in the process of coming to this financial conclusion, they might have helped Dotel's value on the open market.
Both Dotel and Dye were classified as Type-A free agents, meaning if salary arbitration was offered and declined by either player, the White Sox could receive two Draft picks in return from the team eventually coming to terms with either one. Attaching that compensation to an individual such as Dotel, a talented hurler who still finds himself in the middle of a loaded free-agent relief pool that includes closers such as Mike Gonzalez, Billy Wagner, Fernando Rodney, Jose Valverde and Rafael Soriano, could cause potential suitors to shy away.
In an economic climate where cultivating and hanging on to young talent has become imperative, teams have been less inclined to pursue Type-A free agents who could cost them a first-round pick. Dotel and Dye could have accepted salary arbitration if the White Sox offered, meaning the team probably would have added on close to $18 million of payroll based on the players' respective salaries in 2009, through two players who don't appear to be in the franchise's plans moving forward. The White Sox invoked a $950,000 buyout on Dye after the 2009 season, instead of picking up a $12 million mutual option for '10.
Castro and Podsednik did not receive a free-agent rating, so no Draft picks as compensation would have been involved. Podsednik, an elite speedster and quality option at the top of the order, remains in the White Sox picture for '10, although on the fringe, at this point. Podsednik's camp is looking for a multi-year deal, while the White Sox aren't willing to go more than one year.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.