Buster Olney's column, he breaks down how getting Type A Free Agent status actually hurts the trade value of a player, as the teams have to give up two draft picks when signing a Type-A (as opposed to one pick for a Type B).
The Astros' Type As, with Olney's commentary from a panel of six executives and player representatives:
Four of six predicted that the Astros will offer him arbitration. Said one official: "They should offer it to both (Hawkins) and Jose Valverde, but I don't know if they will." Said a player representative: "If they offered arbitration to him, that would really hurt his market, a lot like it did with Cruz. Nobody is going to surrender a draft pick for an older reliever."
Six of six predicted the Astros will not offer him arbitration.
Four of six predicted that the Astros will not offer him arbitration. "They won't devote that much money to paying for a closer," said one official. Another countered: "He'd probably get $10 million or $11 million in arbitration, and so the worst-case scenario would be that you have to eat a little more money than you expected, and the best-case scenario is that you would get draft picks." Said an AL GM: "If they did offer him arbitration, it would hurt him on the market, because there are a lot of bullpen alternatives where you wouldn't have to give up the draft pick."
If you love Valverde, set him free...