Competitive Balance Lottery Takes Place Today

Baseball’s first Competitive Balance Lottery takes place today, when small-market and low-revenue teams will have the chance to win extra selections in next year’s amateur draft. The ten smallest-market teams and ten lowest-revenue teams will have the chance to win extra selections in 2013, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports. 

There’s overlap between small-market teams and low-revenue teams, so there are 13 clubs involved in the first-round lottery: the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Indians, Royals, Athletics, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers and Cardinals. The first six selections will be made between the first and second rounds of next year’s draft. A second group of six picks will be available to the teams from the first group that didn’t get an early pick, plus the Tigers. The second group of selections will be made after the second round of the draft. 

MLB teams can trade the draft picks they obtain in the Competitive Balance Lottery. The picks, which can only be traded once, cannot be sold or traded during the offseason. In theory, the draft picks could be involved in some of this summer’s deadline deals. 

The lottery takes place today at 12:30pm CDT/1:30pm EDT in New York and the winners will be announced 75 minutes later. A team’s chances of winning depend on its winning percentage from the previous season.


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116 Comments on "Competitive Balance Lottery Takes Place Today"


JesseeA
3 years 1 month ago

Am I the only one who finds this… bizarre?

3 years 1 month ago

MLB is looking more Japanese game show than major league every day.

MB923
3 years 1 month ago

 With 8 likes and counting, the answer is clearly No

Ken Roucka
3 years 1 month ago

I agree.

All but the Royals, A’s and Rays have very modern facilities. The Red Sox and the Cubs are dealing with 100 year old parks that they have to try to wring every dime out of.

The Cards are hardly small market. They are a regional favorite that draws fans from all over the midwest. The Marlins just backed up the truck for three free agents this year.

This is rife with problems. In my 40 years the Orioles, Indians, Royals, A’s, Pirates, Reds & Cards have all had long stretchs of being competetive even while being in a “small market”. 

I’m surprised Reinsdorf wasn’t able to convince his pal Bud to shoe horn the White Sox into this group. He regularly refers to his team as small market.

Seals
3 years 1 month ago

I’m a Cardinals fan and I agree. Don’t get me wrong, I like getting an extra pick but this is pretty ridiculous. Shouldn’t the payroll of those teams go into it?

Matt Talken
3 years 1 month ago

Even though Ken’s usage of “market” is technically inaccurate (by using the real definition of what a market is, St. Louis is one of the smallest in baseball), his overall point is still very accurate. The Cardinals draw television ratings from a much larger area and the local fanbase is far more devoted to this team than the fans in most larger cities, so the Cardinals are technically a small market team, but they’re a small market team the way the Green Bay Packers are in the NFL.

Arguing over semantics for a team that is certainly doing quite well when it comes to revenues is silly.

I’m also a Cardinals fan and while I like my team being on this list because it could potentially help them, it doesn’t fit. In fact, the team that Ken used as an example in the White Sox probably are a more needy team when it comes to getting help than the Cardinals are. Regardless, like I said–it benefits my team, so I’m down with it. 😉

Ken Roucka
3 years 1 month ago

I may not have articulated my point well enough but you have the jist of it. Thank you.

3 years 1 month ago

How is St. Louis in there? Makes no sense. Then again, nothing about this makes sense, especially if you can’t spend money in the draft.

Nick
3 years 1 month ago

 St. Louis is there because they are a small market team.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
3 years 1 month ago

 Uh, a small market team that consistently draws over 3 million is not really a small market team.  A ‘small’ market team that consistently has a payroll near or over 100 million is not really a ‘small’ market team. 

Ben Cerutti
3 years 1 month ago

Just because we have great fans doesn’t mean that we should be punished for being in a smaller market than most of the other teams in the league. The fact that the fans come out enables the team to spend over $100M on payroll. However, with the lavish TV contracts being signed on the coasts, the Cardinals are going to start falling behind badly in the revenue stream, like these other teams, without this draft. I like it.

3 years 1 month ago

 Great fans? The Cards are usually a winning team. The Cubs have great fans.

stl_cards16
3 years 1 month ago

They had the lowest attendance last year in how long? No teams draw a crowd when the team is bad.

CyYoungSuppan
3 years 1 month ago

 Please look up the definition of what a sports market is.  Milwaukee is the smallest in the league, yet they draw over 3 million regularly now.

Ken Roucka
3 years 1 month ago

The Cards are hardly small market. They are a regional team, like the Red Sox & Cubs, that draws fans from all over the midwest.

jwsox
3 years 1 month ago

They may be a “small market” which I have a problem calling st Louis a small market and I live in a Chicago suburb and I see cards commercials up here. But your shouldn’t be in a competitive balance lottery when you just won the world series.

Jays Fan
3 years 1 month ago

What I find funny, is that of that list of 13 teams, most if not all of them are pretty competitive… I don’t see the point in giving teams extra draft picks solely on the basis of their “revenue” or “market”.

nick bruggeman
3 years 1 month ago

Its goes by last years record.  Next year some of these teams wont be on the list since next years draft will be based off of this years record.  I take that back,  some of them will still be there because of local revenue.

Jays Fan
3 years 1 month ago

When the defending World Series Champions are being rewarded with extra draft picks on a competitive balance list… I shake my head.

Nick
3 years 1 month ago

 Its because St. Louis is considered a small market team. The Cardinals fall into the bottom 10 of mlb teams in terms of market share

flickadave
3 years 1 month ago

That doesn’t mean that it makes sense.

bigpat
3 years 1 month ago

This is very odd, I never knew you can trade the picks, this whole thing seemingly came out of nowhere.

Oh well, I hope the Pirates get a first rounder, having two picks in round 1 plus the comp pick will be awesome coming off what is likely their best season in 20 years. If they trade a few prospects they will be able to reload with this draft for sure. 

3 years 1 month ago

I don’t get the reference with the Tigers.  Why are they there?

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
3 years 1 month ago

 Yeah, why the Tigers and the Cardinals and the Brewers? 

All three of those teams draw remarkably well and the Tigers and Cardinals have payrolls over 100 million and the Brewers have a payroll close to 90 million.  I do not understand their inclusion at all. 

3 years 1 month ago

It is because of the total market.  To draw 3mm fans in Milwaukee or St. Louis, every person in that market has to go to 1.76 games, and 1.42 games per year, respectively.  Compare that to say the Yankees, every person has to go to .13 games/year.  Both are very small markets.

LarrySellers
3 years 1 month ago

The Brewers are absolutely one of the teams deserving to be on here.  Just because they have great fans doesn’t mean they aren’t one of the smallest markets in pro sports.  Joseph K nailed it. The fact that Milwaukee draws 3million fans a year is pretty impressive in my opinion.

stl_cards16
3 years 1 month ago

Because neither payroll or attendance has anything to do with your market size. Just because some teams in small markets have been successful in maxing out their market, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated as small market teams.

Sky14
3 years 1 month ago

I don’t get it either. A team that just this past off season committed to a $214 million contract to one player isn’t at a competitive disadvantage. 

3 years 1 month ago

Then the GMs face off in physical challenges and feats of strength for special “jump in front of the waiver line” cards.

No Neck
3 years 1 month ago

 Double Dare: MLB GM Edition

BD
3 years 1 month ago

I seem to remember reading that if you trade for one of these picks, it holds half of the slot value for the receiving team (or something like this).  Anybody else have any idea what I’m talking about?

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 1 month ago

This system looks like it might be useful on the surface, but in reality is competitive balance in name only. It’s really a token sop to small-market teams, many of which will never be competitive for more than short stretches, if ever. Even if these teams manage to select a top player between the rounds, everybody knows what will happen when that player goes to arbitration. The fundamental problem in baseball is that small-market teams are at a structural disadvantage. MLB refuses to address that problem. Don’t be fooled by this paper-over job.

alxn
3 years 1 month ago

The only way to fully address that problem is contraction.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 1 month ago

I don’t agree. The financial capabilities of teams only got totally out of whack when media became such a big part of their revenue picture. I won’t repeat what others have already said so well, but to summarize, a team that fields a competitive team on a regular basis will put fans in the seats. Keeping the smaller-market teams on a perpetually muddy slope, and then blaming the city for not having enough fans, seems like a perfect self-fulfilling prophecy.

alxn
3 years 1 month ago

How do you explain the Rays then, or the A’s of the early 2000’s?

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 1 month ago

Low payroll teams can be competitive when the stars align, but when they don’t align, those teams will be noncompetitive. More often than not, the stars will not align. Your own example of the A’s since the early 2000s is case in point.

alxn
3 years 1 month ago

My point was that the fans never showed despite having very competitive teams that made the playoffs several times over a long period of time.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 1 month ago

First of all I wouldn’t say that it was necessarily a long period of time for either of these teams, and I also wouldn’t say being competitive made no difference to the fans. In their brief glory years, the A’s were drawing good crowds, around the middle of the pack for all teams. When their fortunes declined, the fans stayed away in droves, and now they are in the attendance basement. Look also at the Mariners. When then were competitive ten and more years ago, they were drawing more fans per game than any team in MLB. Compare to today.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
3 years 1 month ago

This plan does nothing to restore competitive balance. Small-market teams are at a structural competitive disadvantage. MLB refuses to address the structural issues.

RHova87
3 years 1 month ago

this is a joke…MLB got it very wrong…

Ken Roucka
3 years 1 month ago

This should be looking a profit too rather than just revenue. It was just a few years ago that Deadspin exposed the Pirates & Royals as teams that were pocketing loads of cash even though they are “low revenue”.

Vmmercan
3 years 1 month ago

Ah, the affirmative action of MLB. Very nice.

ratmoss
3 years 1 month ago

I prefer to think of it as “redistribution of wealth.”  Seriously, I don’t think any of these supposedly small market teams’ owners are crying poor.  If it were not economically feasible to field a team in Milwaukee, or Detroit, or St. Louis any one of these businesspeople would close up shop or move the team somewhere where the money is. 

flickadave
3 years 1 month ago

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that any team that makes the playoffs the year before probably doesn’t need an extra pick to help them with “competitive balance”. Bud Selig is just a horrible, horrible commish.

stl_cards16
3 years 1 month ago

You do realize this is on the CBA, every owner agreed to it. It was probably either a better revenue sharing system, which big markets obviously wouldn’t like, or this. Large markets still hold a HUGE advantage that a couple draft picks cannot make up.

flickadave
3 years 1 month ago

Yes, I do realize that this is in the new CBA. That still doesn’t make it a good idea. I would love to know how St. Louis is a small market when they drew the 6th most people to their games last year. Did you miss the part that called this the “competitive balance” draft lottery? I would think that the defending world series champs don’t need much help with “competitive balance”. The Cubs need help, not the Cards and yet the Cubs get no shot at extra picks.

Jays Fan
3 years 1 month ago

Since Alex Anthopolous LOVES draft picks, maybe he should move the Jays to Saskatoon… and tap into this small market advantage!

marketbuzz
3 years 1 month ago

I could see a “crappy” team draft, but many of those teams are good, and have been in the playoffs…. how would being more “competitive” help them if being a playoff team already isnt good enough?

3 years 1 month ago

I just think they went too far giving TEN teams from both low revenue and market status.  It’s way too many!  If they honored the FIVE lowest teams from each list I think most of us would agree the list looked justifiable.  Ten is one third of the entire MLB!  It’s way too many to consider it balance…

3 years 1 month ago

How are the Blue Jays not on this list of “small market teams”? 

Ken Roucka
3 years 1 month ago

and the Twins

3 years 1 month ago

 Yes, especially the Twins!!

Jays Fan
3 years 1 month ago

Apparently Bud Selig considers “Canada” a large market. Not to mention, Rogers Communications is one of the richest owners in MLB. Selig is just pissed off at Toronto because AA took his new draft rules and devised a clever plan to pretty much find an advantage and use it.

Having said that, it isn’t like Rogers is going to open the vault for the Jays, and even if they did, AA wont splurge like JPR did. He doesn’t believe in deals over 5 years.

3 years 1 month ago

Because Toronto has a population of 6.6 million, which at that number is already the fourth-biggest city in the US & Canada… not including the rest of Canada (another 28 million), which apparently counts as Toronto’s market.  Let me ask those Vancouverites if they’ll drive down to the Rogers Centre for a game this season.

Of course, there’s probably other things to consider when making a “competitive balance lottery” than population, but you’d have to take that up with Selig.

stl_cards16
3 years 1 month ago

The Blue Jays? Haha. I can make an argument for a few teams and the Jays aren’t one.

3 years 1 month ago

 Why not the Jays? Population of city has nothing to do with it. I live in Phoenix (one of the top 10 most populated cities in the nation) and the Dbacks are considered a small market.

When you look at the Jays– low payroll, crappy stadium, terrible fan attendance. Definition of a small market team.

NOT KIDDING
3 years 1 month ago

Because Toronto is a huge city, bigger than all but NYC, LA, and Chicago. 

jeff watson
3 years 1 month ago

How come Baltimore and Washington are considered the same area when splitting up tv revenue, but completely different markets when handing out extra draft picks?  Maybe Selig would have been better off creating a crappy owner  draft.

3 years 1 month ago

I have an idea: how about giving bad teams higher draft picks! That should help even out the landscape. Oh, wait…

Jays Fan
3 years 1 month ago

Or how about dismantling the AL East powerhouse and spreading some of the teams out to the other divisions so we dont see .500 teams making the playoffs while .600 teams stay home. (and NO Im not referring to the Jays… we’re not there yet… lol)

3 years 1 month ago

 Fine with me. Or have each league have only two divisions.