Today MLS released the rules for the new Re-Entry draft that was part of the latest CBA that was agreed to on the eve of the MLS season. This is to help avoid a situation like Kevin Hartman fell into last year where the Wizards weren't going to re-sign him, but since they held his MLS rights another team could not get him without trading the Wizards for his rights because they'd made an offer for him.
Now there is a system set up so that if a team is not making a "Bona Fide Offer" then the player will go into the first stage of the re-entry draft. What's a "bona fide offer?" It's an offer to the out of contract player that meets the following minimum conditions according to Soccer America: (1) for “25/4 players,” contains a first-year salary at least equal to the player’s 2010 annual base salary and for “30/8 players,” contains a first-year salary at least 5% greater than the player’s 2010 annual base salary; (2) a term of 1+1+1; (3) option year salaries that increase by at least 5% each year; (4) performance bonuses that are at least the same as the performance bonuses in the previous year of the player’s contract; (5) for purposes of Stage 1, this offer must remain open from November 30 until at least December 3 at noon EST; and (6) for purposes of Stage 2, this offer must remain open from December 8 until at least December 13 at noon EST.
If the team that owns the players rights does make one of those offers, then the player goes into the Stage 1 draft, where other teams can draft a player at their "bona fide offer" price or their option price if the team doesn't make an offer or pick up the option. If the player is not selected in stage 1, the original team has the option to sign the player to a new contract or perform a sign and trade. If players are not re-signed then, then they go back into the Stage 2 of the draft where they are exposed with no presupposed contract requirements. If a player is selected in Stage 2, clubs have 7 days to sign the player to a contract. Players not taken in either draft can then negotiate with any team. Confused yet?
Stage 1 of the Re-Entry draft is on December 8th, while Stage 2 is on December 15th.
So for an example, as SA said, Wizards defender, Jimmy Conrad is out of contract. As a guy that meets the 30/8 requirement, a bona fide offer from the Wizards would be 105% of his 2010 base salary of $232,750. Which means KC would need to offer him a contract of $244,387. If they don't offer him that he'll go into the Stage 1 draft where other teams can offer him that contract. If he's not selected then, then KC can work to sign Conrad to a new contract for a different price, or sign and trade the defender. If that doesn't work than Conrad goes into Stage 2 where he can be picked by another team without having to offer him a certain contract.
While I love Jimmy's contribution to the team in his years with the club, at this point in career, I don't think he's worth that amount, he's been a fantastic servant to the club and became one of the best defenders in the league, but at this point in his career, it's hard to justify giving him almost $250,000 a year in a contract. I have my doubts we'll see the Wizards make a "bona fide offer" for Conrad, but who knows. It will be interesting to see how this breaks down and how this draft works.