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The MLB Draft started in 1965. Even then, league presidents Joe Cronin [AL] and Warren Giles [NL], were astute enough to understand that if trades of draft choices were permitted, the low-revenue teams would be unloading first-rounders to the Yankees and the Dodgers, and the other titans of the sport.
For sure, Calvin Griffith and the Twins would have been trading first-rounders in the '70s and into the '80s, when the franchise had hit hard times. Famously, the Twins took pitcher Tim Belcher as the first overall pick in 1983, followed by outfielder Oddibe McDowell and pitcher Billy Swift, and signed none.
Short-term, the Twins would have been better off if such choices could have been traded. Long-term, the game's attempt to have some form of balance (which it does with today's revenue sharing) would have been destroyed, if the Yankees were trading for any coveted draftee who couldn't sign elsewhere.
similar in accuracy to those offered by the Todd McShay-types for the NFL Draft.
The other thing that blows me away about that draft is that it appears teams back then had no real idea what was really important and it appears they were much more likely to squander high first round draft picks on non-impact positions. Well, that and that the announcers were just as dumb as they are nowadays.
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