The 2014 MLB regular season is in the books, which means we now know where the Cubs will be picking in the 2015 MLB Draft:
2. Astros (compensation for failing to sign 2014 first round pick pick Brady Aiken)
7. Red Sox
8. White Sox
18. Blue Jays
The Cubs (73-89) actually finished tied with the White Sox and Phillies, but slot in between those two teams thanks to the tie-breaker (2013 record). In other words, yesterday’s win “cost” the Cubs a spot in the draft, because they then tied the White Sox, who get the earlier pick thanks to a worse record in 2013.
Are you really that annoyed, though? If you’re not picking in the top three or four, you can’t be too upset about the difference between 8 and 9. Further, given the trajectory of this team – playing with many of the same young players they’ll be using next year – you just wanted to see some winning at the end of the season. I’m happy.
I’m also happy because, as previously discussed, the Cubs stayed in the top 11 picks, each of which will be “protected” in free agency. Now, if the Cubs sign a qualified free agent (Max Scherzer? James Shields? Russell Martin?), they will not lose their first round pick. Instead, they would lose their second rounder, which is exponentially less valuable.
As for being bumped down to the 9th pick although they finished with the 8th worst record, the Cubs should be too perturbed – the guy who was involved in that bumping down is lefty Brady Aiken, who was the top player on the Cubs’ board last year, ahead of only Kyle Schwarber. Now, because he’s very likely headed to junior college, Aiken can be back in the draft next year. So, although everyone at the top is bumped down one spot, there’s one additional elite talent available in the draft. No fuss, no muss.
Last year, by the way, the 9th overall pick was worth about $3.1 million in slot value. (The 4th pick, where the Cubs selected, was worth $4.6 million. The Cubs ultimately signed Schwarber for $3.125 million. Would you be happy with another Schwarber-caliber player next year? Yeah. I’d say so.)