This afternoon, eight front office representatives from thirteen teams participated in the MLB’s first competitive balance draft lottery. Another of the recent CBA’s new implementations, the lottery mechanism is designed to assist the league’s poorer teams through an alternate avenue to revenue sharing funds.
The teams that participated in this afternoon draft lottery hail from an exclusive group. They rank among the league’s bottom-ten in revenue figures and market-size. Because market-size and revenue are closely tied in the MLB, and in professional sports, this group consists of thirteen teams (not twenty). Each club’s odds of winning a pick are based on their winning percentage from the previous season. Those that don’t earn one of the six picks in the first round “Round A,” are added to the second lottery, “Round B.” Any clubs that aren’t among the league’s poorest, but still received funds via revenue sharing– this years it’s only the Tigers– are added to the “Round B” pool.
Teams that won picks in “Round A” hold slots between the first and second round of next June’s draft– projected between from the thirty-second to the thirty-seventh pick. “Round B” clubs hold picks between the second and third rounds, probably from the seventieth to seventy-fifth pick.
The results are as follows:
Round A (Picks 32-37)
1. Kansas City Royals
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
4. Baltimore Orioles
5. Cincinnati Reds
6. Miami Marlins
Round B (Picks 70-75)
1. San Diego Padres
2. Cleveland Indians
3. Colorado Rockies
4. Oakland Athletics
5. Milwaukee Brewers
6. Detroit Tigers
The thirteen teams included in the first draft lottery are the league’s ten most revenue-poor and they hail from the ten smallest markets. The odds of each clubs earning a high pick through the lottery are based on their winning percentage in the previous season. So, the Orioles had the best odds of securing the top pick in Round A, followed by the Padres, Royals and Marlins. In the end, Baltimore ended up with the fourth pick (the 35th overall slot in 2013), however.
Round B included all teams that miss-out on a Round A pick, as well as the Tigers. The Tigers don’t rank among the league’s bottom ten in revenue (11th among clubs in 2011) or market size, but because they received funds via revenue sharing last year, they were eligible for the Round B lottery. Their franchise received help from the league because they’re still operating under a significant amount of debt (22nd most in the MLB). They ended up with the last pick (74th overall in 2013).
Clubs that earned picks can trade them immediately and at any point during the regular season. Therefore, contenders like the Pirates (33rd pick), Diamondbacks (34th), Orioles (35th), Reds (36th) and Indians (71st) have the opportunity to beef-up a trade deadline deal.
With the MLB’s new hard-slotting system, it will be difficult to score a big-money prospect, like a Johnny Damon (35th in 1992), a Wil Myers (91st in ’09), a Nick Castellanos (44th in 2010), a Brian Goodwin (34th in ’11) or an Austin Hedges (82nd in ’11), after the first twenty picks. The Nationals struggled to muster up $3 million for this draft’s 16th overall pick, so it’s safe to say that teams with more modest bonus pools will be weary of drafting a Brian Goodwin-type athlete. The Astros did manage to sign Lance McCullers to a $2.5 million bonus out of the 41st slot. However, the club spent significantly below-slot on the draft’s top overall pick, and was therefore left with enough change to reel-in a second blue-chip prospect.
Supplemental picks residing in the new Round A and Round B range have produced plenty of premium ballplayers in recent years. Here are some of the more notable names:
Joba Chamberlain (41st in 2001), Chris Coghlan (36th in ’01), Justin Masterson (71st in ’01), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (36th in ’03), Wade Davis (75th in ’04), Kevin Slowey (74th in ’05), Yunel Escobar (75th in ’05), Nick Hundley (76th in ’05), Todd Frazier (34th in ’07), Travis d’Arnaud (37th in ’07), Giancarlo Stanton (76 in ’07), Brett Cecil (38 in ’07), Jake Odorizzi (32nd in ’08), Mike Montgomery (36th in ’08), Lance Lynn (39th in ’08), Wade Miley (43rd in ’08), Danny Espinosa (87th in ’08), Tyler Skaggs (40th in ’09), Garrett Richards (42nd in ’09), Aaron Sanchez (34th in ’10), Anthony Ranaudo (39th in ’10), Cody Buckel (72nd in ’10), Jackie Bradley (40th in ’11), Daniel Norris (74th in ’11), Joey Gallo (39th in ’12), Lance McCullers (41st in ’12),