The invaluable MLB Trade Rumors site has the Elias rankings of free agents.
As expected, David Ortiz and Jonathan Papelbon are Type A free agents. Even under a new collective bargaining agreement, the compensation rules are expected to remain in place. So the Red Sox would receive two draft picks in return for either of those players signing with another team.
Ortiz is ranked sixth among free agents, so odds are good that the Red Sox would receive a first-round pick from the signing team along with a first-round compensation pick. Papelbon is ranked 11th. But in reality, he is 10th as Carlos Beltran cannot be offered arbitration per the terms of his contract.
The good news for the Sox is that Jason Varitek and Dan Wheeler are Type B free agents and would return first-round compensation picks.
Of course, to get these picks the Red Sox would have to first offer arbitration and that’s where it gets tricky.
Ortiz could theoretically accept, knowing he would get a hefty raise from the $12.5 million he made in 2011. Varitek and Wheeler, who have expressed interest in staying in Boston, also could accept. The Red Sox, in the same situation, did not offer Varitek arbitration last year and signed him for $2 million.
Teams have until Nov. 23 to offer arbitration. Players have until Dec. 7 to accept or decline.