Arizona Diamondbacks – 3
Atlanta Braves – 1
Baltimore Orioles – 1
Boston Red Sox – 4
Chicago Cubs – 1
Chicago White Sox – 1
Cincinnati Reds – 1
Cleveland Indians – 1
Colorado Rockies – 2
Detroit Tigers – 0
Florida Marlins – 1
Houston Astros – 1
Kansas City Royals – 1
LA Angels – 1
LA Dodgers – 1
Milwaukee Brewers – 2
Minnesota Twins – 3
New York Mets – 3
New York Yankees – 1
Oakland A’s -1
Philadelphia Phillies – 1
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1
San Diego Padres – 5
San Fransisco Giants – 2
Seattle Mariners – 1
St. Louis Cardinals – 1
Tampa Bay Rays – 10
Texas Rangers – 2
Toronto Blue Jays – 5
Washington Nationals – 3
That’s how many picks each team had from the start of the draft until the Pirates got their second pick last season. The Pirates were the worst team in baseball, because of that they were awarded with just one pick before the second round of the draft.
So what does that prove? That maybe the compensation system isn’t fair anyway.
The compensation system looks like it will be getting an overhaul and rightfully so. There is no reason why the Tampa Bay Rays should get ten picks before the Pirates get two.
In fact in the first 62 picks the two worst team, the Pirates and the Mariners had a whopping four picks.
The last two teams seeded in the first round were the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers, they combined for twelve, three times as many as the worst two.
The Rangers got that pick because they lost Cliff Lee to Philadelphia. Don’t worry though the big spending Phillies didn’t completely lose out, after all they were able to secure a sandwich pick just five slots down for losing outfielder Jason Werth.
Many of these picks are granted based on failure to sign a first round pick the previous year. Well that’s too bad isn’t it. People think that if there is no compensation that the players will have too much leverage, not true and we’ll see why later.
It also encourages teams to not hold onto players. It gives teams like the Pirates a way out of keeping their own players by artificially offering them something else in return for letting them walk. This effects both trades and free agent signings for the Pirates, keeping them out of high priced guys while also effecting the return they would get from trading players.
The system of awarding Type A and B status is also very dubious to say the least. Matt Capps had a pretty underwhelming season, recording just 15 saves and a 4-7 record last year. He is a Type A free agent.
It also takes money from the players. Teams are not willing to pay players when their is more risk dumped on their laps due to the possible loss of a draft pick.
The Pirates don’t really benefit from this any way. It does nothing but hurt them as you can see by the results. The Pirates don’t offer arbitration because they are afraid someone will accept, or they choose to move him at the deadline.
From the sound of it Type B free agents will be eliminated and Type A free agents will be scaled back. That will put a whole lot less between the first pick of the draft and the first pick of the second round, theoretically giving bad teams picks sooner. That would be good for the Pirates
The league is also probably going to put a cap on bonuses. If this is going to be the case the league should also cut the draft back from fifty rounds. There are going to be a whole lot of wasted picks because teams can’t go over slot past the tenth round.
Now onto the leverage issue. If the league institutes a hard ten round limit that will take away a whole lot of the draftees leverage. Most teams are not going to toy around with guys if it means only being able to sign one player. That in itself will lower bonuses.
Now that will be bad for the Pirates, they will have to rely on scouting savvy as opposed to just throwing money at players. It will also force them to use their resources in other ways. International markets, and maybe even, god forbid, the Major League payroll is likely to see a bounce.
There is another reason why this is important. It’s a concession from the players. Sure it looks like nothing more than a small deal that only hurts amateur players but it should be seen as a victory for the salary cap crowd.
This is a foot in the door to larger control of spending by the league. It is a very small step towards getting players in line for a salary cap of some sort.