Draft Pick Currency

The Tigers used "draft pick currency" in acquiring Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins in 2007 using '05 first-round pick Cameron Maybin and '06 first rounder Andrew Miller, agent Scott Boras noted in January.  Boras feels that the Tigers were ahead of the curve in that regard.  Let's take a look at other first-round picks who were dealt within approximately three years of being drafted in recent years.

  • November 2007: Twins trade 2005 first-rounder Matt Garza with Eduardo Morlan and Jason Bartlett to Rays for Delmon Young, Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie.  GM: Bill Smith.
  • January 2008: Braves trade 2005 first-rounder Joey Devine with Jamie Richmond to the Athletics for Mark Kotsay.  GM: Frank Wren.
  • July 2008: Red Sox trade 2005 first-rounder Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss to Pirates, Dodgers sent 2006 first-rounder Bryan Morris and Andy LaRoche to Pirates, Red Sox sent Manny Ramirez to Dodgers, Pirates sent Jason Bay to Red Sox.  GMs: Theo Epstein, Ned Colletti.
  • July 2008: Phillies trade 2006 first-rounder Adrian Cardenas, Josh Outman, and Matthew Spencer to Athletics for Joe Blanton.  GM: Pat Gillick.
  • July 2008: Brewers trade 2007 first-rounder Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley, Rob Bryson, and Zach Jackson to Indians for C.C. Sabathia.  GM: Doug Melvin.
  • June 2009: Cardinals trade 2006 first-rounder Chris Perez and Jess Todd to Indians for Mark DeRosa.  GM: John Mozeliak.
  • July 2009: Giants trade 2007 first-rounder Tim Alderson to Pirates for Freddy Sanchez.  GM: Brian Sabean.
  • July 2009: Red Sox trade 2007 first-rounder Nick Hagadone2008 first-rounder Bryan Price, and Justin Masterson to Indians for Victor Martinez.  GM: Theo Epstein.
  • July 2009: Cardinals trade 2008 first-rounder Brett Wallace, Shane Peterson, and Clayton Mortensen to Athletics for Matt Holliday.  The A's traded Wallace several months later, and then the Blue Jays traded him in July 2010.
  • July 2009: White Sox trade 2007 first rounder Aaron Poreda, Clayton Richard, Adam Russell, and Dexter Carter for Jake Peavy.  GM: Kenny Williams.
  • December 2009: Mariners trade 2006 first-rounder Brandon Morrow to Blue Jays for Johermyn Chavez and Brandon League.  GM: Jack Zduriencik.
  • December 2009: Diamondbacks trade 2006 first-rounder Max Scherzer and 2008 first-rounder Daniel Schlereth to Tigers, Tigers sent Curtis Granderson to Yankees, Tigers sent Edwin Jackson to Diamondbacks, Yankees sent Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to Tigers, Yankees sent 2006 first-rounder Ian Kennedy to Diamondbacks.  GMs: Josh Byrnes, Brian Cashman.
  • December 2009: Phillies trade 2006 first-rounder Kyle Drabek, 2007 first-rounder Travis d'Arnaud, and Michael Taylor to Blue Jays for Roy Halladay and cash.  GM: Ruben Amaro, Jr.
  • December 2009: Mariners trade 2007 first-rounder Phillippe Aumont, J.C. Ramirez, and Tyson Gillies to Phillies for Cliff Lee.  GM: Jack Zduriencik.
  • July 2010: Rangers trade 2007 first-rounder Michael Main and Chris Ray to Giants for Bengie Molina.  GM: Jon Daniels.
  • July 2010: Rangers trade 2008 first-rounder Justin Smoak2007 first-rounder Blake Beavan, Matthew Lawson, and Josh Lueke to Mariners for Cliff Lee, Mark Lowe, and cash.  GM: Jon Daniels.
  • December 2011: Reds trade 2008 first-rounder Yonder Alonso, 2010 first rounder Yasmani Grandal, Edinson Volquez, and 2009 first-rounder Brad Boxberger to Padres for Mat Latos.  GM: Walt Jocketty.
  • December 2010: Brewers trade 2008 first-rounder Brett Lawrie to Blue Jays for Shaun Marcum.  GM: Doug Melvin.
  • December 2010: Red Sox trade 2008 first-rounder Casey Kelly, 2009 first rounder Reymond Fuentes, Anthony Rizzo, and Eric Patterson to Padres for Adrian Gonzalez.  GM: Theo Epstein.
  • July 2011: Tigers trade 2010 first-rounder Chance Ruffin, Francisco Martinez, Charlie Furbush, and Casper Wells to Mariners for Doug Fister and David Pauley.  GM: Dave Dombrowski.
  • July 2011: Indians trade 2010 first-rounder Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, Joseph Gardner, and Matt McBride to Rockies for Ubaldo Jimenez.  GM: Chris Antonetti.
  • July 2011: Giants trade 2009 first rounder Zack Wheeler to Mets for Carlos Beltran.  GM: Brian Sabean.

Bottom line: if the Cubs reach a point of contending under Epstein, recent first-round picks should keep their bags packed.  Melvin, Sabean, and the Phillies' brass have been aggressive in trading first-round picks.  Zduriencik moved a couple of first-rounders when the Mariners were closer to contention, although they were not his draft picks.

As for literal draft pick currency, 13 teams are eligible for the first competitive balance draft pick lottery this year.  The picks given for this lottery can be traded, but only once by a team, only during the regular season, and not for cash.


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28 Comments on "Draft Pick Currency"


3 years 6 months ago

Bill Smith gives away Matt Garza and then turns around and gives the only player that was anything close to good from that trade away too.. Pathetic!

iheartyourfart
3 years 6 months ago

reymond fuentes was also a first round pick in that adrian gonzalez trade.

aaronanderson16
3 years 6 months ago

One really big one you do not have included was when the Cardinals traded first rounder and then big talent Brett Wallace for Matt Holliday in ’09. That trade looks so lopsided now and back then a lot of Cards fans did not want to let go of Wallace and now most must wonder why.

3 years 6 months ago

Agreed…I accidentally deleted the Wallace bullet as I was moving them around. It’s back now.

aaronanderson16
3 years 6 months ago

I see. But I agree with most on this it was a good article before or after Wallace was added ha.

Lanidrac
3 years 6 months ago

Yeah, we got mostly burned on the Perez for DeRosa trade, but the Holliday trade more than made up for it.

htlee4
3 years 6 months ago

One more: 2009 White Sox send 2007 first round pick Aaron Poreda, Clayton Richard, Dexter Carter and Adam Russell to the Padres for Jake Peavy

rockfordone
3 years 6 months ago

One you would like to forget – That is why Tim did it. Don’t forget Joe Borchard (1ST round) and many $$$$ for Matt Thornton

rockfordone
3 years 6 months ago

How about Gio G. (1st round) for Swich. I thought Floyd and Danks were 1st rounders????

3 years 6 months ago

Some of those just didn’t fit in as recent, I started with the ’07 draft.  But Poreda belonged.

WrongVerb
WrongVerb
3 years 6 months ago

Just saw the Reds/Pads trade listed.

skandy1
3 years 6 months ago

Forgot to mention Dombrowski in the 3-way trade – Dec 09.

3 years 6 months ago

Was just naming GMs who gave up first rounders.

skandy1
3 years 6 months ago

definitely see the Jays and Mariners are game for these types of trades.

harmony55
3 years 6 months ago

Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik traded away the last four first-round draft picks of his predecessor, Bill Bavasi:  Jeff Clement (2005), Brandon Morrow (2006), Phillippe Aumont (2007) and Josh Fields (2008).

themightygin
3 years 6 months ago

“if the Cubs reach the point of contention”…?  Theo/Jed have already traded 2006 1st round pick Tyler Colvin for Ian Stewart and 2008 1st round pick Andrew Cashner for Anthony Rizzo.  

3 years 6 months ago

Yes but neither within our three-year cutoff.  Cashner could be counted though.

vtadave
3 years 6 months ago

Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran is a good one too.

rainyperez
3 years 6 months ago

Wheeler has yet to pitch in the majors. If the Giants brass like Tidrow, Evans, Righetti, and Sabean saw him as expendable then I’ll trust them due to their recent success in pitching prospects. 

bayareabeast
3 years 6 months ago

its not that they thought he was expendable, they thought the return would be the playoffs. however, i do agree that the young crop we’ve brought through the minors dampens the uglyness of this trade.

3 years 6 months ago

In Sabean’s tenure he has traded off the following first round picks: Joe Fontenot, Jason Grilli, Nate Bump, Kurt Ainsworth, Jerome Williams, Boof Bonser, and David Aardsma in addition to Alderson and Wheeler.  2 of those trades were 2-fers though, Grilli/Bump and Williams/Aardsma.  He’s got a good record on trades of these 1st rounders, partly thanks to injuries (Bonser/Aardsma), but the Wheeler one will get severely tested.  No regrets here, if Beltran put the G’s in the playoffs it would have been worth it.  Fell short, move on.

Beersy
3 years 6 months ago

As for the competive balance draft picks, the draft is in season, so if a player unexpectedly falls to that part of the draft, that another team is high on, can the pick be traded at the draft? 

MrTriandos
3 years 6 months ago

What strikes me as remarkable is how rarely these first round draft picks have developed into major league stars. Most appear to be busts. I guess that supports the Bill James contention (back in the Abstract days) that it’s always a good idea to trade several prospects to obtain one star player. 

raffish
3 years 6 months ago

Alex White (from the U. Jiminez trade) was a 2009 first rounder, I believe.

lefty177
3 years 6 months ago

Great piece, just 1 thing, it looks like you’re going in chronological order of when the trade went down, the Alonso/Latos trade is in with the December 2010 instead of 2011, great job otherwise!

3 years 6 months ago

Great article, makes you think a little bit at how upset we sometimes get when our team trades away minor leaguers we are big on. 

Also, anyone notice how many times Billy Beane gets screwed in these deals?

3 years 6 months ago

Deals in which Alex Anthopolous recieved former first rounders: Morrow, Drabek, D’Arnaud, Wallace, Lawrie, and Rasmus.

Owen Wilson
3 years 6 months ago

Alex White was a 2009 first rounder as well.