It remains to be seen whether Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson and Raul Ibanez will return to play for the Phillies next year. In the event that any of them choose to exit as free agents this winter, the club has positioned itself to receive compensatory draft selections.
The Phillies announced on Wednesday that they have offered salary arbitration to Rollins, Madson and Ibanez. These free agents will have until Dec. 7 to accept this offer that would provide them a one-year contract with a salary determined through arbitration.
While Rollins and Madson were expected to receive this offer, the Phillies created some surprise when they also extended the offer to the 39-year-old Ibanez, who made $12 million this past season.
Ibanez is now in a position where he could accept and gain a one-year deal that would likely be around the same $12 million figure. But there is reason to believe that the veteran outfielder told the Phillies they could extend this arbitration offer with the understanding that he would not accept it.
If Ibanez returns to Philadelphia to possibly fill a platoon role, he would likely have to agree to a much lower salary. If the veteran outfielder signs elsewhere, the Phillies will receive a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.
Because Rollins is considered an elite free agent, the Phillies would receive two compensatory Draft picks if he signs elsewhere. One of the selections would be a sandwich pick, and the other would be based on where the signing team's first-round selection falls.
If the signing team's pick falls within the first 15 picks, the Phillies would receive that team's second-round selection. If the signing team's first selection falls beyond the first 15 picks, the Phillies would receive that pick.
The Phillies would also receive two compensatory picks if Madson signs elsewhere. But because he is not considered to be an elite free agent under the new collective bargaining agreement, the team that signs the veteran reliever would not forfeit a Draft pick.
The compensation for Madson would be one supplemental pick in the first or second round, and a sandwich pick.
Roy Oswalt and Brad Lidge, the Phillies' only other rated free agents, were not offered salary arbitration. There is still seemingly a chance that Lidge could return next year to work in a bullpen now anchored by the team's new closer, Jonathan Papelbon.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.