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, MLB now utilizes a new 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 applied a formula that 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 in 2017, 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 simply flip on an annual basis, meaning the six teams that were awarded Comp Round A picks in 2017 comprised the teams selecting in Comp Round B. Likewise, the eight teams that comprised Comp Round B in 2017 swapped to Comp Round A in 2018. Now, of course, we’re back to the starting point, with the formula spitting out new ordering for each group of teams. Notably, the Pirates will pick in both rounds, as they’ve received the No. 37 overall pick as compensation for failing to sign last year’s No. 36 overall pick, Gunnar Hoglund.
According to Mayo, the rounds will play out as follows:
37. Pirates (compensation for Hoglund)
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 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. (We recently broke down the possible impact to teams that could lose qualified free agents and also to those that could sign them.) 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.