Baseball's new CBA will affect the Twins' remaining three free agents differently. Here's the explanation I was just given by an industry insider:
* Michael Cuddyer -- He was a Type A free agent, and now he's in a group of players whose status has been modified to help increase their value. Assuming the Twins offer him arbitration on Wednesday and he declines, teams no longer have to worry about surrendering their first-round draft pick to sign him.
The Twins will still get two compensation picks. But let's say the Phillies sign him: The Phillies would not lose their first-rounder. The Twins simply would gain a first-round pick in the slot just before the Phillies pick. The Twins would also receive a pick between the first and second rounds (or sandwich round) of the draft.
* Jason Kubel -- He remains a Type B free agent. If the Twins offer him arbitration Wednesday and he declines, the Twins will receive a sandwich pick if he signs with another team.
* Matt Capps -- His status changes from Type A to a modified Type B. He's not in the same boat as Kubel now, it's slightly different. Here's the key twist: The Twins don't have to offer him arbitration in order to receive a sandwich pick if he signs elsewhere. Capps benefits because teams have shied away from signing Type A free agent relievers, not wanting to part with a first-round pick.
Bottom line: The Twins weren't going to offer Capps arbitration, so now they are in position to receive four draft picks -- instead of three -- if all three of these free agents leave. Cuddyer and Capps should get better offers. The only downside for the Twins is they might have been able to re-sign Cuddyer and Capps at lower prices under the old system. But this really looks like a win-win for all involved.
Update: Major League Baseball and the MLBPA just made an announcement, confirming the above. Cuddyer is in a group of free agents with Heath Bell, Francisco Rodriguez, Kelly Johnson, Josh Willingham and Ryan Madson. Capps is in a group with Francisco Cordero, Darren Oliver, Octavio Dotel and Ramon Hernandez.