Now that MLB and the MLBPA have hammered out a new collective bargaining agreement, the league can move on to other important things — like finalizing the 2017 amateur draft order.
According to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, MLB has awarded 14 teams a competitive balance draft pick for next year. These picks are given the small market and small payroll teams to help foster competitive balance, the league’s nice way of saying parity. Mayo explains the process:
The Competitive Balance Rounds are no longer determined via lottery. Instead, all teams that fall in the bottom 10 in revenue and bottom 10 in market size will get a pick in Round A, after the first round, or Round B, following the second round. Using a formula that takes revenue and winning percentage into account, six teams were awarded Round A picks, with eight teams getting picks in Comp Round B. The groups of teams will switch in 2018 (meaning there will be eight Comp Round A picks, six in Round B), and will alternate as such for the life of this CBA.
In recent years MLB has announced the competitive balance picks during the summer, not long after the annual amateur draft, but this year they waited until the offseason to see what changes were made to the draft by the new CBA. Here are the 2017 competitive balance picks:
Competitive Balance Round A (after first round)
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Cincinnati Reds
- Oakland Athletics
- Milwaukee Brewers
- Minnesota Twins
- Miami Marlins
Competitive Balance Round B (after second round)
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- San Diego Padres
- Colorado Rockies
- Cleveland Indians
- Kansas City Royals
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Baltimore Orioles
- St. Louis Cardinals
Yes, the Cardinals get a competitive balance draft pick and have for the last few years now. St. Louis falls in the lower third of the league in market size, which gives them the extra pick even though they’ve been in contention for most of the last two decades. It is what it is.
Currently the Competitive Balance Round A picks fall from Nos. 31-36 overall while the Competitive Balance Round B picks are Nos. 67-74 overall. That is subject to change pending free agency. Teams can still gain and lose draft picks thanks to qualifying free agents, which will change the draft order slightly.
It’s worth noting competitive balance draft picks are tradeable, but only during the regular season. The picks can only be traded once and they can not be traded for cash. Teams have not placed a ton of trade value on these picks in recent years. When they have been traded, it’s been as the third or fourth piece in a deal, not as the headliner.
The Twins had the worst record in baseball in 2016 and therefore hold the first overall pick in the 2017 amateur draft. The draft takes place in June each year.