Rarely do teams sign back potential free agents that they trade at the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
The player, even if moved for financial reasons, usually feels a tinge of rejection. The previous collective-bargaining agreement offered a disincentive for clubs that considered trading and re-signing a Type-A free agent — the loss of a draft pick.
The new draft-pick compensation rules, however, make the trade-and-re-sign possibility more appealing.
Compensation, remember, applies only to players who remain with their teams for an entire season. Traded players, on the other hand, can be signed without restriction.
So, let’s say the Brewers wanted to trade right-hander Zack Greinke. They could sign him back without losing a draft pick, and Greinke — who is 15-0 with a 2.47 ERA lifetime at Miller Park — probably would be open to the idea.
Padres left fielder Carlos Quentin might be an even better example. The team’s next owner will not be identified before August, major league sources say. The front office, then, is unlikely to know its chances of re-signing Quentin before July 31.
The Padres, then, could trade Quentin and later pursue him in free agency if their new ownership provides the necessary bump in payroll. Quentin, a local product who is revered in San Diego, surely would consider staying home.