02/22/09 5:46 PM EST
Byrnes dispels rumor on Cruz trade
D-backs hoping to work a sign-and-trade for free-agent reliever
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
"No," Byrnes said when asked if he was talking with a team or teams about Cruz. "My communication at this point is through the agent. They are directing the process."
Byrnes said he is in almost daily contact with Cruz's agent, Barry Praver.
"That being said, there is nothing new to report," Byrnes said.
Cruz, who made a little more than $1.9 million last year, is a Type-A free agent. That means that the team that signs him would have to give the D-backs its No. 1 pick in June's First-Year Player Draft. In addition, the D-backs would get a pick in the compensation round between the first and second rounds.
There is a feeling that teams have been reluctant to sign Cruz because they do not want to give up a first-round pick. As a way around that, Major League Baseball has discussed with the Players' Association the possibility of another team agreeing to terms with Cruz and having the D-backs sign him to that contract and trade him to that team for an agreed upon player or players.
If Cruz reaches an agreement with another club, a 48-hour window would be granted for the D-backs to try to work out a suitable compensation package.
The D-backs were pleased that another one of their Type-A free agents, Orlando Hudson, finally signed late last week. Hudson's signing gives the D-backs the Dodgers' first pick (No. 17 overall) as well as a compensation pick between the first and second rounds.
Thanks to Hudson and reliever Brandon Lyon (Tigers) signing, the D-backs have their own pick (No. 16) as well as 17, 35 and 43. Picks 35 and 43 could change depending on other free-agent signings.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.