Major League Baseball held their first Competitive Balance Lottery today, awarding compensation picks to small market and low revenue teams. The Pittsburgh Pirates received the second pick in the first compensation round.
The Pirates had a 10.5% chance of getting the top pick in the draft, and were tied for the fourth most combinations in the lottery, based on their 2011 standings. Their pick currently would be 33rd overall in the 2013 draft. That number will most likely move down with free agent compensation picks, although it won’t move down far, as compensation picks will be harder to get. Right now, with the compensation pick for Mark Appel, plus the regular first round pick, the Pirates have three of the first 33 picks in the draft.
The Competitive Balance picks can be traded, and could factor in to this year’s trade deadline discussion. In the past for the trade values series, we’ve used a value of $2.5 M for each compensation draft pick. That value could go up this year with a tougher road to get compensation picks.
Take Carlos Quentin, as an example. In the past, San Diego might have been able to get a compensation pick or two for him. Now they’d have to offer him $12.5 M, and hope he turned that down. Any team dealing for him would be paying less than previous years because they wouldn’t get a compensation pick to go along with him. In those situations, we could see teams trading the player for the guaranteed compensation pick. That’s just speculation, and might not play out that way in Quentin’s case. One of the story lines over the next two weeks will be following how the compensation picks are valued.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.