Today, MLB held its Competitive Balance Lottery, the process by which 12 lucky teams receive additional picks in the 2015 Draft. Six teams get a pick after the first round (Round A), and another six get a pick after the second round (Round B). Eligible teams include those in the smallest 10 markets in baseball, and the 10 teams with the lowest revenue.
These are the only picks in the draft that are tradable, so the teams receiving them now have an additional chip with which to work as we head toward the Trade Deadline.
Competitive Balance Round A
Competitive Balance Round B
And the reactions:
- Of course the Cardinals get another top pick. And of course the five top selections all go to National League teams.
- All of the NL Central teams except the Cubs are eligible for this lottery, and three of the four get a selection. Only the Pirates were shut out.
- The Cardinals can keep that pick (the Comp A picks are far more valuable than the Comp B picks), or they can now use it to try and pick up a starting pitcher (depending on the quality of the pitcher, they might have to include more). And they’ll get that player upgrade without giving up as much from their system now. Swell.
- Other buyers receiving picks include the Brewers, Reds, A’s, Mariners, and Orioles (and possibly the Marlins and Indians). The A’s are interesting there, because there is still the matter of a PTBNL owed to the Cubs for the Samardzija/Hammel deal. A Comp B pick as the PTBNL? It’s possible (though you should keep in mind that picks after the second round are not hugely valuable). It’s also possible that these teams will simply shop these picks in the coming week.
- The Brewers get a pick, and you may recall that they are still in need of some international bonus pool space if they’re going to avoid the harshest penalty. Conceivable that the Cubs could send pool space to the Brewers for that pick? Conceivable. But it’s at least as likely that the Brewers will try and use the pick to upgrade their roster before the deadline, since they aren’t very deep in prospect talent. Or they’ll just keep the pick, because it’s nice to have picks.
- Some folks have speculated that, if we see the Cubs pick up an extra draft pick, that will be a sign that they plan to sign a big-time free agent in the offseason (which would cost a pick). I tend to think the Cubs aren’t really in the business of planning quite that linearly. Instead, they like to give themselves options. If they pick up another draft pick, it’ll be because the right deal presented itself, and it’s handy to have an extra pick lying around (in case they want to use it, in case they sign a FA, in case they want to trade it, etc. – just in case).