2014 Draft

2014 Draft: Yankees Could Pick Five Times Before Pirates Pick Twice

2014 Draft: Yankees Could Pick Five Times Before Pirates Pick Twice

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.

  • WTM

    “Peter Gammons had an article talking about how small market teams are currently being hurt by the draft changes.”

    That’s the whole idea. Everything Bud Selig has ever done was intended to keep the Yankees in the playoffs year after year.

    • jon6er

      He got tired of answering the phone calls from George all those years. Wonder if he knows George has passed on. Oh that’s right, Bud was seen crying over the casket.

      • I think Bud has passed on.


  • jaygray007


  • So what will be done about it? The Pirates currently have a top 2 or 3 system in baseball. Most of that was built before these new rules Signing guys Like Josh Bell . The Pirates were spending more than anybody in the draft so they put a limit on it and take away the only way small market teams can compete through the draft and player development

  • piratemike

    The system is so flawed but people are more concerned about who will play 1st next year instead why the Pirates can’t succeed for more than a few years because there will no longer be any Cole’s or Taillons in their future.
    Yes the Pirates may get lucky and get some good picks later in the draft but those high draft choices will only come around again when they stink again.

  • piraddict

    Doesn’t MLB run it’s business as a partnership, with each team getting an equal vote on league policy? Why don’t the bottom 50+ % of the clubs vote against such as system? Or are the teams that have more money more persuasive, making the argument that what’s good for the large market teams is best for television revenue overall? You would think that the Union would be in favor of competitive balance as that would starve the large market teams of talent and cause them to bid up the free agent contracts. It doesn’t make sense why the large market teams are able to screw the rest of the league so successfully.

  • Andrew

    The local nature of revenue for the MLB means that large market teams drive the revenue thus have power proportional to their market size. The most recent CBA is looking like a debacle for small market teams, they were most likely assured that increased revenue means your revenue sharing checks will go up. (Which is completely rational for small market teams concerned about the bottom line.) Small market owners were sold on the idea of the new qualifying offer system depressing free agent salaries thus supposedly giving small market teams some sort of compensation/chance in free agency. The small market teams traded well intention but poorly implanted competitive balance picks for restrictions on international signing and draft picks.

    What can be done? Abolish the free agent compensation system and limits on draft/international spending. Have a competitive balance picks all come after the 1st round, reform the lottery, and make draft picks tradable. Competitive balance is driven by the size of the talent pool, restrictions on acquisitions limit the strategies/opportunities available to enterprising teams.

    WTM is correct, but forgot Bud Selig’s second lifelong calling, suppressing the salaries of players and ensuring increased owner revenue. Bravo Bud, mission accomplished, I sincerely hope the players’ union fired their negotiating team.

    • WTM

      “Bud Selig’s second lifelong calling, suppressing the salaries of players and ensuring increased owner revenue.”

      True. What happens, though, is that Bud’s salary control efforts always have the effect of hurting the lower revenue teams. Draft pick compensation is an example. The idea is to discourage FA signings, but the discouragement only works against the less affluent teams. They can’t afford to make qualifying offers and they can’t afford to lose their first round picks.

      Bud’s effectively created a system that pushes more and more money to the top players, so only the richest teams can afford them. Meanwhile, the other teams are left to economize by reducing the amount of money that goes to second and third tier players.

      • Andrew

        I agree completely with the effect Selig’s reign, I was just referring to Selig’s known history of collusion to drive down free agent salaries when he was an owner, and how that connects with the free agent compensation systems that has developed under his time in power.

        I interpret the free agent compensation system as a tax on free agents with the perverse effects of the tax favoring the large market teams that can pay it. I do not pretend to know Selig’s motivating factor, drive down salaries or ensure large market success (the effects of draft pick compensation were/are entirely predictable), so my interpretation could be wrong.

        Whatever the motivation its good to see that New York, is getting some help after missing the playoffs and the St. Louis and their top 10 revenue have received a competitive balance pick.

  • I wonder if things might change once Bud leaves?


  • PirateTom

    Man its reading stuff like this that just depresses the hell out of me and makes me wonder why I’m even a baseball fan(or sports in general for that matter) with things being so broken… So tired of everything being about money and catered to large market teams… Just so damn unfair and I don’t think its ever going to change(for the better at least)…

    • japple2298

      As sad as it is, the reason that Bud is so worried about the big market teams, is because of NATIONAL TV RATINGS. Without the big TV ratings, no one including the Pirates will receive any money from National TV. The big cities are were the ratings all come from.

2014 Draft

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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