If the Tigers sweep their double-header against the Orioles today, their first round pick in the 2011 draft won't be protected. In fact, if the Tigers win any two of their four remaining games, they'll have 82 wins, more than the A's, Dodgers, Angels or Marlins could possibly end up with. As our reverse standings page shows, those clubs are now 78-81, so none of them will finish better than 81-81.
Teams in the lower half of the standings have protected first round picks in the following year's draft, but teams in the top half of the standings do not. If the Tigers win two more games and sign a Type A free agent who turned down arbitration, they would lose their top pick in the 2011 draft. Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford, Cliff Lee and Adrian Beltre are among the projected Type A free agents who may end up on the Tigers' offseason shopping list.
Last year, the Tigers lost their first rounder to the Astros for signing Jose Valverde, but they still ended up drafting highly-regarded players including Nick Castellanos, Chance Ruffin and Drew Smyly. Amateur scouting director David Chadd may have another challenge ahead if GM Dave Dombrowski signs a Type A free agent or two.
The Phillies, Rays, Yankees, Twins, Giants, Braves, Rangers, Reds, Padres, Red Sox, White Sox, Rockies, Blue Jays and Cardinals will also have exposed first round picks this offseason, so the Tigers would be in good company.