The concept of competitive balance is kind to the Miami Marlins, as the club earned the top pick in the 2015 MLB Draft's Competitive Balance Round A following the league's lottery process on Wednesday.
Teddy Cahill of MLB.com first reported the results of the lottery, which determined the 12 additional picks that will be handed out next summer. The Competitive Balance Round A is held immediately after the first round. The Competitive Balance Round B is held after the second.
After Miami, the Colorado Rockies, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians were awarded selections in the first competitive balance round. The Cincinnati Reds won the second lottery, with the Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks rounding it out.
|Pick||Round A||Round B|
Teams available to earn these extra selections are determined by a combination of market size and revenue pools. The 10 smallest-market clubs and the 10 lowest-revenue pools are eligible, in addition to any franchise that receives revenue-sharing cash that is not included in the previous two criteria.
There were 15 teams in total that were eligible this year. The Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals did not receive additional picks despite each being among the smallest markets in baseball, period.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today highlighted the flaw of a perennial powerhouse like the Cardinals getting a selection and smaller markets being left out:
While an admittedly curious way to determine things, it's impossible to criticize MLB much. The terms of the competitive balance round were collectively bargained with the players, so both sides would need to agree on making potential alterations.
It would also be unfair to specifically target teams like the Cardinals and exclude them because of their success. St. Louis met the criteria that was collectively bargained despite being among the most high-profile clubs in the sport. Flaws may exist in the system but the only way to eradicate them is through a better suggestion that can then be lobbed toward players.
Those suggestions don't exist now. Competitive balance selections allow teams in lower revenue streams or small markets an opportunity to add not only a young player but also additional pool money in signing their selections. Cahill noted that the six Round A clubs were given $1,484,500 extra in last year's draft, while Round B clubs received $790,350.
That additional cash can at times mean more to teams than the extra pick itself.
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