Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com released the updated 2014 draft order, adding in the potential compensation picks for each team after the first round. The compensation picks make up picks 32-44, although they aren’t guaranteed. The only way teams will receive a compensation pick is if another team signs their player. So for example, if the Yankees bring back Robinson Cano, they will have one fewer pick.
Earlier in the week I talked about how the Draft Compensation System Remains Broken. Today, Peter Gammons had an article talking about how small market teams are currently being hurt by the draft changes. But all you need to do to see the imbalance is to look at the updated draft list.
The Yankees could potentially pick five times in the 2014 draft before the Pirates pick for the second time. Four of those five picks for the Yankees could come in the top 35, which means they’re probably looking at one of the biggest draft bonus pools for the 2014 draft. Meanwhile, the Pirates pick 27th, then don’t pick again until the 77th pick. They also get a competitive balance pick, which is currently number 86 in the draft, because MLB likes to keep it fair and make sure the Pirates can compete against the Yankees.
It’s not just the Yankees. The Red Sox could have four picks before the Pirates pick twice. The Cardinals could get a compensation pick, and also will get a competitive balance pick before the Pirates get theirs, even though the Cardinals are a team that can afford one of the top ten payrolls in the game.
What really hurts here is that the Yankees and Red Sox can spend big on the free agent market. If the Yankees re-sign Robinson Cano, they won’t get a compensation pick for him. But re-signing Cano is much more valuable than an extra draft pick. The Pirates don’t even have that choice. Only a select amount of teams can afford what Cano is asking for, and the Pirates aren’t one of them. The Yankees are one of those teams, which creates a huge imbalance in baseball. The draft used to be a way for teams like the Pirates to counter that imbalance. Instead, the 2014 season will see a situation where the Yankees and Red Sox have an advantage over the Pirates in both the free agent market and the draft. And that doesn’t even consider that the Yankees will have more international money to spend because they finished below the Pirates in the standings.