Pittsburgh Pirates Receive Highest Competitive Balance Pick in 2018 Draft

Major League Baseball announced the Competitive Balance picks on Thursday afternoon and the Pittsburgh Pirates received the 31st overall pick in the 2018 draft. That is the highest pick given out this year. The Pirates were guaranteed a high pick this year due to having a Comp Round B pick last year, which ended up being the 72nd overall pick. MLB no longer uses a lottery system to determine picks and the teams eligible for Competitive Balance picks alternate between Round A and Round B each year.

The Pirates already had the tenth overall pick in the draft this upcoming year due to their record during the 2017 season. That pick is guaranteed to stay at the tenth spot. The 31st overall pick could change however, based on what happens with free agents who signed qualifying offers. MLB Pipeline broke down the scenarios here and which free agents could affect the pick’s spot.

While the draft bonus slots won’t be announced for awhile, the 2017 amounts could serve as a guide for the approximate amount the Pirates will get for these two picks. The tenth overall pick in 2017 had a $4,376,800 price tag, while the 31st overall pick was worth $2,134,900.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    November 17, 2017 11:24 am

    That is good news….now, the Pirates have to use the pick wisely – and that is where I lack the confidence in the FO. I did like their draft last year – as they finally started picking HS position players with bats with high upside. Hopefully, they stick with that strategy this year.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Unless they translate into good players, the high picks are worthless. As for the competitive balance pick, that phrase does not apply when used to describe the Pittsburgh Baseball Club. We probably won’t see anything hinting at competitive until NH is shown the door.

  • Can it move up? That is, can any teams still lose a first round pick for signing someone?

    • Not sure if clubs can list their first pick but if anyone can it’s the 5 luxury tax clubs. But even under the old rules the top ten picks are protected from qualified offer player compensation

    • The rules have changed this year so the highest the pick will be is 31st and the lowest it can go is 37th. Each team’s highest pick is now protected and since no team has more than one pick in the top 30 this year, that order won’t change. Any comp picks for the six eligible free agents will be placed between the current 30th and 31st pick, BUT those picks can be lost if that team signs one of the six players eligible for a comp pick.

      If all six players eligible sign for over $50 M this winter and none of those signing teams lost one of those players, then that’s the worst case scenario for the Pirates and they will get the 37th pick.

      • Holland, Cobb and Santana probably aren’t guaranteed to get more than $50M. So it might creep up to atleast 35.

  • The 31st pick is not so guaranteed and it could end up being like 40 if in some way all the qualified FAs are signed for more than $50 million. Just have one question what about KC if they loose a couple guys for more than $50 million, will they get two picks before the competitive balance picks?

    • It can end up back at 37th not 40. The Cubs (Arrieta and Davis) and the Cardinals (Lynn) can only get selections after Competitive Balance Round B. And yes the Royals can get 3 picks right after the first round.

  • Higher pick means larger draft pool. Good stuff all around

  • This is good news. Still waiting to see if Atlanta loses its first pick as a penalty.