Who knows how it really works, but if the Red Sox sign both Matt Holliday and Marco Scutaro, the Sox could actually end up with better draft picks in the end:
Under baseball's warped draft-pick compensation system, a high-revenue team that exchanges one Type A free agent for another actually nets an extra pick — a supplemental choice between the first and second rounds.
Oh, but this gets better.
If the Sox lose Bay and sign both Holliday and free-agent shortstop Marco Scutaro, they not only will receive the same number of selections, but also might end up in better draft positions.
Signing Holliday would cost the Sox their first-round pick. Signing Scutaro, a lower-ranking free agent, would cost them their second-round selection.
But, if the Sox lose Bay after offering him salary arbitration, they will gain two picks — a likely first-rounder and the sandwich pick.
I don't think Scutaro is much of a player, but if the Sox go this route and actually bring in better draft picks, that is pretty great. I'll stand by my original thoughts and say I want Jason Bay back in Boston, but this isn't a bad way to end up either. Personally, I'd take Bay and a shortstop like, say, Stephen Drew in a trade than signing Holliday and Scutaro. But that's just me. We'll see what Theo decides.