Major League Baseball came to terms with the players on a new collective bargaining agreement prior to the 2012 season. In it, a new section added more picks to the bottom of the first and second rounds of the MLB first-year player draft.
On Wednesday, July 17, baseball commissioner Bud Selig and other MLB officials held the second annual 2013 Competitive Balance Lottery. As noted by Baseball Prospectus on Twitter, 14 teams were eligible for the 12 extra picks being handed out by baseball:
The MLB Competitive Balance Lottery is this afternoon, awarding 12 draft picks to 14 possible teams.— Draft Prospectus (@DraftProspectus) July 17, 2013
In one word, how would you describe the new "balance" of the draft?
The new CBA added the Competitive Balance Lottery so small-market and low-revenue teams would be afforded an added chance at extra draft picks. In short, baseball wants to counteract the financial flexibility of bigger clubs by giving smaller ones a chance to develop their own stars on the farm.
2012 was the first year that baseball implemented the new system, and as Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reported last July, the 12 added selections split between the first and second rounds of the draft give teams added ammunition in the asset department.
Mayo also had a report for MLB.com on Wednesday with each team's odds prior to the lottery.
As highlighted in this tweet from MLB Network Radio, Selig and MLB officials have made sure that "balance" is a buzz word fans see quite often in the overall scope of what the hierarchy is trying to accomplish:
Selig said economic changes ie revenue sharing were the most important decision he made "have the greatest competitive balance in history"— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) July 15, 2013
From revenue sharing to the Competitive Balance Lottery, creating parity between all 30 teams has been an important topic of conversation in baseball for quite some time.
Don't expect conversation on that parity to slow down. As noted by Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, an international draft might be coming, too:
Selig impatient on international draft, but will let current system work for a few years. To be addressed in next CBA.— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) July 16, 2013
Although evening things out is important to baseball, doing it by small-market status might not be the way to go. For starters, four of the teams which reached the playoffs in 2012 (Reds, Orioles, Cardinals, Athletics) had a chance to participate in the lottery this year.
The Houston Astros, who have had the worst record in baseball for most of the last two seasons, did not participate.
For now, we'll have to settle for the Competitive Balance Lottery as the biggest change to the current draft layout. Check out the results from Wednesday's lottery below, and how the 2013 draft played out for the 12 selections in question.
2013 MLB Competitive Balance Lottery Results
2012 (2013 Draft) MLB Competitive Balance Results, Picks
|A||34||KC||Sean Manaea||LHP||Indiana State (Ind.)|
|A||35||MIA||Matt Krook||LHP||St. Ignatius College Prep (Calif.)|
|A||36||ARZ||Aaron Blair||RHP||Marshall (W.Va.)|
|A||37||BAL||Josh Hart||CF||Parkview HS (Ga.)|
|A||38||CIN||Michael Lorenzen||RHP||Cal State - Fullerton (Calif.)|
|A||39||DET||Corey Knebel||RHP||Texas (Texas)|
|B||69||SD||Jordan Paroubeck||CF||Serra HS (Calif.)|
|B||70||COL||Alex Balog||RHP||University of San Francisco (Calif.)|
|B||71||OAK||Chad Pinder||SS||Virginia Tech (Va.)|
|B||72||MIL||Tucker Neuhaus||SS||Wharton HS (Fla.)|
|B||73||MIA||Colby Suggs||RHP||Arkansas (Ark.)|
The big winners today were the Rockies, Orioles, Indians and Marlins, who all added additional first-round picks as a result of the lottery drawing.
We haven't yet had the chance to see how the Competitive Balance rounds even things out amongst qualified teams, but the clubs receiving the additional picks won't soon be complaining.
A talented group of players were selected with the 12 extra picks in June's draft, and each will have the unique designation of being baseball's first crop of players specifically designed to help even out the scales.
Just like every draft in professional sports, selections are hit or miss. MLB's draft is no different.
Even if there weren't extra picks, the 12 guys selected above would have been drafted at or near where they were when it was all said and done.
By giving teams with lower revenue a chance to nab those players, it gives those teams that MLB deems worthy a chance to further develop their farm systems.
While opinions on this theory of balance are mixed at best, baseball continues to stay strong in its belief that sharing is caring. The second Competitive Balance Lottery proved that again, and we'll once again see teams reap the benefits of doing more with less when the 2014 draft commences next June.
Follow B/R's Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter.