Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 11/3/11
NEW YORK Baseball's free-agent signing season began Thursday with Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Aramis Ramirez all available in a market far stronger on hitting than starting pitching. C.J. Wilson, Mark Buehrle, Roy Oswalt, Edwin Jackson and Hiroki Kuroda topped the list of free-agent starters, while Jonathan Papelbon, Heath Bell, Francisco Rodriguez and Jonathan Broxton were among the available closers. With no new collective bargaining agreement, draft-pick compensation remained in force for top free agents ranked according to a statistical formula agreed to in 1981. Teams have through Nov. 23 to offer salary arbitration to their former players who became free agents, and free agents not offered arbitration can sign after then without costing their new clubs any picks in next June's amateur draft. Among the 166 free agents, there are 21 Type A players and 37 Type Bs. The possibility of dropping compensation has been discussed in negotiations f...
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