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Indians hit jackpot in the Competitive Balance Lottery

Indians hit jackpot in the Competitive Balance Lottery
July 18, 2013
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The competitive balance lottery happened on Wednesday to no fanfare at all, but Indians fans should really be happy about it and need to know about it.

The reason is simple: this pick becomes a big trade asset for the Indians. It could be the centerpiece in a trade, especially if it's for pen help.

This is the second year of the competitive balance picks. For your team to qualify you have to be one of the ten smallest markets or one of the ten lowest revenue generating teams. Since some teams won the bad revenue lottery they were in the bottom ten for both which meant 14 teams were up for 12 picks.  The two teams who failed to land a pick where the A's and the Reds.

These picks are also the only picks that can be traded. They are the test system for allowing the trading of picks in future drafts - at least that is what a lot of people think, including myself.

The teams are weighted by their record from the year before. The Indians actually dropped as they should have had the second pick, but the Orioles jumped them; however, the third pick will be in the top 40 and should carry a draft pool total over around $1.5 million. It should be noted that we don't know where the pick will land as it will depend on how many compensation picks there are. Also, the Marlins have pick #36 after failing to sign their competitive balance pick this year.

The reason this is a major trade asset is it adds a lot of money to a team's draft pool.  For example, it should be about 2.5 times as much as the Indians second pick this past year at number 79. Next year's draft also looks good and deep with high school arms. If you're a team looking to rebuild it is another bullet for your future, and since it's a pick its adds a lot of flexibility for that team to add to their future.

That is the 411 on the the pick and what it means. After the Indians willingness to go out and sign players which cost them picks, I would not be surprised at all to see this pick traded. Bottom line, the Indians just added another valuable trade asset and have yet more ammunition to complete a big deal before the trade deadline.

Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffmlbdraft, or email him at

User Comments

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July 19, 2013 - 12:15 AM EDT
Cardinals were eligible because they supposedly are one of the 10 smallest market teams in MLB.
July 18, 2013 - 9:01 PM EDT
@ Joe C.

Picks can be traded once.
Joe Chengery
July 18, 2013 - 6:10 PM EDT
Question: Can a team who receives our CBL pick in a trade be able to trade it themselves? If so, the Cardinals, presumably, could find it even more appealing, even though they've been stockpiling their farm systems with astute picks the past few seasons.
Joe Chengery
July 18, 2013 - 6:00 PM EDT
I wouldn't be fond of using it for Garza though: He's only signed through 2013, we have little chance of resigning him, and are we certain he's the same pitcher he was with the Rays several years back?

If it's for a young TOR starter here beyond 2014, I'd be for it, but someone like Garza who's a rental? Not fond of the idea.
July 18, 2013 - 4:42 PM EDT
Market size is apparently based on population. I'm not sure, but is about the only way I see St. Louis netting a comp pick. FWIW, they were eligible last yr as well.
Rich S.
July 18, 2013 - 4:00 PM EDT
I could see in the Garza sweepstakes how the Cubs might value this pick over a current prospect since they are so far away from contending. In that respect, the Indians might have more appealing prospects to the Cubs in that the top ones are all AA or below, with the exception of Salazar and Bauer.
July 18, 2013 - 3:10 PM EDT
My question is this: How do the Cardinals fall into the 10 smallest revenue or 10 smallest markets?!

I thought that they had a swathe of territory across the plains and they generate a massive amount of revenue from merchandise sales (seriously, go to any ballpark and you'll see a handful of Cards fans in gear there).

That's just asinine that they were even eligible.
July 18, 2013 - 12:51 PM EDT
2014 draft is a good one and with 2 picks within the 1st 35 the Tribe could have at least a decent system. Gave up 2 picks in 2013 so keep the pick and get a pipeline going.
July 18, 2013 - 12:49 PM EDT
I completely agree, they shouldn't move this pick unless they can get a player that is controllable for at least 3 yrs. The 2014 draft should be ripe with talent. According to several "experts" it will be a deep and talented class. I'd agree, it looks much better than this yrs class.
July 18, 2013 - 12:31 PM EDT
The only way you trade this pick is if A) You can get a player under control through at least 2014 and B) You don't plan on signing any free agents who have been offered a qualifying contract.

The draft is too important to small market clubs like us to go into next year's draft with zero picks in the first 40 or so. If we hold onto this pick, we can feel a lot better about signing a big name free agent next winter.
July 18, 2013 - 12:15 PM EDT
Trade asset, absolutely, but this team needs more core talent in it's system....not a reliever, which will add, at most, 1 win to this season.

Bargain shop for relievers, don't deal a piece of the future for an insignificant piece for the present.
July 18, 2013 - 10:42 AM EDT
Per Paul Hoynes the pick right now, stands to be 34th overall which will carry about $1.7 M pool allotment with consideration given for the yearly increases.

It is a great trade asset for the Tribe. Maybe coupled with a prospect or two the Indians could make a real splash on the trade front.

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