Major League Baseball has set the order for Competitive Balance Rounds A and B of next year’s draft, reports Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. Those rounds, which take place after the completion of the first and second rounds, respectively, are comprised of picks awarded to teams that are considered in the bottom 10 in terms of market size and/or revenue.
As Mayo explains, last season marked the beginning of MLB utilizing a more formulaic approach to determining Competitive Balance order rather than a lottery, as had been done in previous drafts since the Competitive Balance rounds’ inception prior to the 2013 season. The league’s formula took into account total revenue and winning percentage among the 14 teams that received Competitive Balance picks. Based on the results of that formula, the Rays, Reds, A’s, Brewers, Twins and Marlins were awarded the six picks in Comp Round A last year, with the other eight teams (D-backs, Padres, Rockies, Indians, Royals, Pirates, Orioles, Cardinals) all falling into Comp Round B.
Under the new system, those two groups will now flip on an annual basis, meaning the six teams that were awarded Comp Round A picks in 2017 will now comprise the teams selecting in Comp Round B. Likewise, the eight teams that comprised Comp Round B in 2017 will now comprise Comp Round A in 2018. Notably, the Rays will pick in both rounds, as they’ve received the No. 32 overall pick as compensation for failing to sign last year’s No. 31 overall pick, Drew Rasmussen.
According to Mayo, the rounds will play out as follows:
32. Rays (Compensation for Rasmussen)
It should also be noted that this isn’t yet likely to represent the final draft order. Competitive Balance draft selections are the only picks that are eligible to be traded from one team to another under baseball’s collective bargaining agreement. These picks can only be traded during the regular season, though, and each pick can only be traded one time. (The Royals, for instance, cannot acquire the Orioles’ pick and then trade it to another team.)
The specific placement of these picks in the overall draft order figures to change as well as draft-pick compensation from qualified offers slightly alters the ordering of the picks both surrounding the Competitive Balance rounds. Generally speaking, though, this serves as a rough guideline for next summer’s draft and helps to provide a clearer picture of which teams will have the largest draft pools.
The Royals, for instance, could very well have five of the top 40 or so picks in the draft between their first-round selection, their Competitive Balance selection, and the likely comp picks for Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain (which would fall after the first round and before Competitive Balance Round A so long as each of that trio signs for $50MM or more in guaranteed money).
Meanwhile, the Rays stand to have six of the top 72 selections if Alex Cobb signs a contract worth more $50MM or more and would otherwise have six of the top 80 if he signs elsewhere for less than $50MM (which would push the compensatory pick for his free agency back after Competitive Balance Round B).