Those searching for reasons to feel better about the Red Sox being unable to re-sign Victor Martinez can turn their attention to the future.
With Martinez signing a four-year deal in Detroit, the Sox begin to haul in some valuable draft picks ahead of what the organization figures could be an extremely talent-laden amateur draft.
Boston will receive Detroit's top pick, the 19th overall, and a supplemental pick following the first round. The same sort of package will likely come if and when Adrian Beltre leaves town, but there are conditions that not everyone is aware of.
When a team loses a Type A free agent like Martinez or Beltre to another team, it receives the signing team's top pick and a supplemental pick prior to the second round. However, if the signing club picks in the upper half of the first round, the pick is protected. For instance, if Beltre signed with Oakland, which has already made him a five-year offer, there would be no first-round pick coming Boston's way.
The Sox would receive the second-round pick from Oakland and a supplemental pick in such a scenario, but that cream-of-the-crop slot would be lost.
In another scenario, if Detroit signs another Type A free agent with a higher ranking than Martinez, its top pick would go to the other team and Boston would get the Tigers' second-rounder. That is unlikely but it shows how the compensation packages are not always cut and dry the second a guy like Martinez signs on the dotted line.
Of course, the same rules apply for the Red Sox going the other way. Once they sign a player such as Carl Crawford they will lose their top pick, the 24th overall. If they sign another Type A free agent they lose the second-round pick. A third Type A guy would give away the third-round pick, and so on. This happened two years ago when the Yankees signed three Type A guys in one offseason.
Either way, the Red Sox figure to make out on the positive end in terms of compensation. That should appease some of the masses who recognize the value in the draft, especially one such as the 2011 version. It figures to be heavy on college pitchers, which Boston covets, and should also feature comparable players throughout the first few rounds, meaning the multiple picks late in the first round and throughout the supplemental round could net players nearly on the same level as those in the top 10.
Boston will bring in a big name at some point — it's almost a given that a team with a healthy payroll and holes to fill will do what it can to fill them. In the meantime, while the fan base stews over the loss of one such big name, the front office can look to the future.