The Rays recently had 6 players decline arbitration, 3 of them type A's, and 3 of them type B's. For each type A free agent another team signs, the Rays will get that teams first round draft pick, and a "sandwich" pick between the first and second rounds (I beleive Joba was a sandwich pick back in the day). Each type B free agent nets the Rays a "sandwich" pick. That means the Rays are going to be praying that teams start signing these guys, and then will turn their prayers towards a strong draft year, because they could potentially end up with 3 additional first round draft picks, and 6 sandwich picks. 9 players drafted prior to the second round of the player draft.
This brings me to a discussion of the baseball players draft. I'm not going to say that we suck at drafting. Indeed, Phil Hughes was a product of the players draft, and so were other such notable Yankee players as...well...Phil Hughes...Oh! Gardner too. He's alright. Anyways, Derek Jeter was the first round draft pick back in 1992 and he became the face of the franchise. Over the past decade we've signed players like David Parrish, John-Ford Griffen, Bronson Sardinha, Jon Skaggs, Eric Duncan, Jonathan Poterson, Jeffrey Marquez, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Andrew Brackman, CJ Henry etc. Some have made it up to the big league level, some made it there for other teams, but with the exception of Hughes and Chamberlain, we really have been pressed to find much success out of our first round draft picks. I'd like to say that that's just the nature of the draft in baseball, but the Rays have seemingly mastered the draft. Yeah, yeah, they always drafted first because they were so bad all these years, but so did the Royals and the Pirates, and they do not have nearly the same amount of success as the Rays. Over the years the Rays drafted several players who made it to the big leagues, many of which are still on the team. The list of players drafted by the Rays include this years MVP Josh Hamilton, Rookie of the Year and two time gold glove winner Evan Longoria, starting pitcher David Price who just posted a 2.72 ERA with 19 wins this season, as well as other big league players such as Jeff Neiman, BJ Upton, Rocco Baldelli, and Delmon Young (who had a breakout season for the Twins this year). Even their failed picks like Dewon Brazelton and Jason Standridge still maintained careers at the big league level. All I'm saying is that if you give the Rays 9 first round picks, in addition to the one they already have, they may destroy the world of baseball as we know it.