There has been some chatter about a sign-and-trade option being a way the top remaining free agents can get the kind of money they want and from the team they want it from without that club having to surrender draft-pick compensation. One of the questions that has come up is the plausibility and legality of the concept.
First of all, it is within the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, provided the player gives his consent in writing -- which is these cases does not seem like much of a hurdle. The plausibility of the idea may not sit on the same shelf, however.
There's nothing preventing, for example, the Atlanta Braves, Scott Boras and the Texas Rangers from getting together and concocting a contract and trade agreement so that the Braves get something in return for centerfielder Michael Bourn, but so the Rangers do not have to surrender their first-round draft pick.
The problem with such a scenario is in the value for the Braves. What are the Rangers going to give the Braves to compensate them enough to get them to give up the draft pick compensation, and is that specific cost better for the Rangers than sacrificing the No. 25 overall selection?
Bourn, righ-hander Kyle Lohse and closer Rafael Soriano could all be candidates for a sign and trade.