Indians land another top pick in Competitive Balance Lottery
On Wednesday there was another competitive balance lottery and once again the results were good for the Indians.
This was the third competitive balance lottery in league history. The first year the Indians were unlucky and landed a second rounder, which was later surrendered when the team signed Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher. Last year the Indians received a first rounder and used the extra pick to select outfielder Mike Papi in the draft this year.
For those who may have forgotten, the way the Compettive Balance Lottery works is every year there are 12 picks up for grabs, six after round one and six after round two. These 12 picks are spilt among the 10 teams with the smallest markets and the 10 teams with the smallest revenue. Now those two groups often have the same teams in common, which is why in the end there were 15 eligible teams this year. Also, if you receive revenue sharing then you are not eligible for an extra first rounder, which meant the Twins and Mariners were only eligible to receive a supplemental second round pick - often known as type B.
The competitive balance pick is a lottery system and is based on the previous year’s record. The Indians had the twelfth best record of the group, so there was a very good chance they could have ended up with no pick. Instead they landed the last pick in round A of the competitive balance section, which is known as type A.
There were three teams which failed to get picks: the Royals, Rays, and Pirates. The Pirates were a team who projected to not receive a pick so that is not a big surprise. The Royals and the Rays projected to land first round picks so that has to be a stinger for both. Instead, the Cardinals got an extra first, which was the team who had the worst chance to do so. The other team that jumped up was the A’s who ended up with a second round selection.
Now, it’s hard to project how much the pool will be since we don’t yet know about increases in the pool and how many compensation picks there will be. If we assume no raises, and the same number of compensation picks then at a bare minimum this pick adds about $1.42 million to the Indians draft plans next year.
In terms of player value, the Indians got Mike Papi at about this spot this year. On top of that they saved money with that pick which allowed them to add Micah Miniard. There is a reason the two were officially signed on the same day. If we learned anything from the Brady Aiken debacle this year it’s that player's bonuses are heavily tied together. This pick will allow the Indians to add another player for high value next year, a potential top 10 player, and maybe still have some cash to spend later.
Of course the Indians could also never make this selection. The competitive balance picks are the lone picks which can be traded. Most think this is the MLB testing the idea of trading all picks in the future. Every year since they have been created these picks have been traded. The value is extremely high to teams, since it’s not just a pick but also the pool money it will bring to the team. If the Indians are buyers there is a chance this pick is moved. The only rule about trading these picks is they can only be traded during the season.
In the end, the Indians good fortune means at least for now they are shaping up to have two first round picks next year. This means they will have had five first round picks over two years which can do a lot to a minor league system that has needed some help after bottoming out a few years ago.
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I'd rather keep Carrasco and have him in the rotation or have him in the back-end of that bullpen. He's certain to provide value for you- there's no certainty that extra pick and that prospect will. In fact, presuming the Indians will keep him in the bullpen, I'd elevate Carrasco to the 8th inning and drop Shaw to the 7th inning, as Shaw still has not been as good as he was earlier in the year, and he hasn't been used as much of late, so I'm not certain fatigue is an issue now as it may have been earlier this year.
Add in the fact that Carrasco is pitching well, has a live arm, and should be relatively cheap for a while still, and Carrasco would likely provide more value than an extra pick and a prospect. Now, if you want to talk about guys like Rzepczynski and Axford, guys who aren't young, aren't as cheap (Axford, particularly), and who aren't likely to be around as long, then I'd be more open to that (especially regarding Axford), but Carrasco would likely have more usefulness for the team moving forward. Add in the fact that the needle is moving toward the Indians being sellers rather than buyers (due to losing a very winnable series against Minnesota and losing a very winnable first game in KC, plus losing another 2-3 games in the standings to the Tigers, plus probably losing ground in the Wild Card standings too), and it would seem more likely that the Indians would be making moves to help bolster this team for 2015 and beyond, something Carrasco is likelier to do than an extra pick and a prospect (and likelier a guy like Axford, and even Rzepczynski, would be traded).
I seriously doubt the Tribe will move the pick, it gives them a lot of potential avenues to add talent. Spreading it over several pks or the lone pk. Another thought, the Tribe basically, landed another top 40 talent in next yrs class.
Personally, I think the Tribe should be on look out for the opportunity to add another through trade. I'd consider moving Carlos Carrasco for another and a prospect.
I think there should be 15 total picks instead of 12 so that the 3 other teams are not shut out of having a pick. 7 picks after 1st round. 8 picks after the second round.