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Monday, November 07, 2022

Nationals, A’s, Pirates have best odds in MLB draft lottery

As soon as general managers started arriving in Las Vegas for their annual meetings, Major League Baseball set some odds—for its first amateur draft lottery.

MLB said Monday the lottery will take place on Dec. 6 at the winter meetings in San Diego, determining the top six picks next summer.

Under the agreement in March that ended the 99-day lockout, the lottery includes teams that failed to reach the postseason and didn’t forfeit their first-round pick, such as for signing a qualified free agent.

Washington, Oakland and Pittsburgh, which each lost 100 or more games, have the best odds of getting the top pick at 16.5%. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati both went 62-100 but the Pirates were slotted third because they had a worse record that the Reds in 2021.

The players’ association pushed for the lottery to discourage teams from trying to get the top pick. The Houston Astros lost 324 games from 2011-13, earning the top pick in three straight years, and went 70-92 in 2014, part of a rebuilding that led to four World Series appearances from 2017-22, including titles in 2017 and this year.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 07, 2022 at 04:59 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: draft lottery

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   1. A triple short of the cycle Posted: November 07, 2022 at 07:46 PM (#6104731)
Seems the lottery encouraged more teams to tank.
   2. The Duke Posted: November 07, 2022 at 08:14 PM (#6104736)
This was a good idea. I hope it ends up with a middle of the pack team winning a few times early to reinforce the message
   3. Walt Davis Posted: November 07, 2022 at 09:18 PM (#6104747)
An experiment (not a recommended policy change): Suppose the lottery winner was offered a choice:

a) the #1 pick but you give back $50 M in common/shared revenue
b) the #2 pick but give back $40 M
f) the #6 pick and receive the full share
g) no first round pick but get $50 M more

After the lottery winner made their choice then the #2 lottery team gets their pick among the remaining choices (you can always take the next best pick after 6 and receive your full share). If the first 5 options are exhausted then everyody moves up in order. If everybody takes option G then we say "april fools!"

We'd get a more solid idea what the top picks are worth and smoke out the true tankers.

Back in the 70s, every GM got drunk and took Option J.

   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 07, 2022 at 10:15 PM (#6104755)

Seems the lottery encouraged more teams to tank.

Disagree. Cincy is tanking, or tearing down at least. Pittsburgh and Oakland are just cheap. Washington is tearing it down for a sale. KC, Colorado, Detroit, Texas, Miami and the Angels were all trying to win, just poorly.
   5. cookiedabookie Posted: November 08, 2022 at 10:11 AM (#6104780)
I want an 8 team single elimination tournament at the end of the year. Play it at a neutral site. Bottom 8 teams get seeded 1-8, winning team gets first pick, team they beat get second pick. The semifinal losers get picks 3 & 4 based on record (highest season winning percentage gets #3 pick), quarterfinal losers get seeded based on record (lowest winning percentage to highest) for picks 5-8. Can be played in the first three days after the regular season, no off days. Have #1 pick game played same day as first wildcard games. It gives those teams their own taste of the playoffs, gives teams a reason not to tank, and leaves the fate of the top pick to the teams and the front offices, not to bingo balls.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: November 08, 2022 at 02:07 PM (#6104809)
#5 would be fun but of course MLBPA isn't gonna allow the players to participate. So make it a touney of each team's minor-league all-stars. That way, theoretically, the most promising team gets the #1 pick. You'd want to work something out not to discourage late-season call-ups so make those guys eligile for the tourney. All with proper compensation of course.

More realistically, draft order (or lottery chance) is determined by some weighting of crappy MLB record and good minor-league record (overall? AA/AAA?). I know minor-league record isn't a great indicator of talent development but it's the only feasible, objective measure I can think of. But something that balances "yes, we want to help you get better" with "but ya gotta show us you'll take advantage of this opportunity."

A convoluted measure we'd never see ... replace minor-league record with some combination of total WAR produced by pre-arb and post-FA players such that the teams rewarded are those that have developed the most young talent but also aren't tanking (i.e. still sign useful FAs). It would be hard to balance those.

Of course all of these are just attempts to identify the "deserving poor" which is a troublesome (and vile in most contexts) concept.
   7. John Reynard Posted: November 09, 2022 at 04:00 AM (#6104875)
Of course all of these are just attempts to identify the "deserving poor" which is a troublesome (and vile in most contexts) concept.

There is a difference between parsing between genuinely poor people to determine which are "deserving" of help and parsing between multi-hundred millionaires to determine which ones are just milking their ML status.
   8. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: November 09, 2022 at 11:43 AM (#6104894)
Re #6 "That way, theoretically, the most promising team gets the #1 pick": I looked into it (saying I "studied" it would imply a level of rigor I didn't nearly reach) about ten years ago and found that the correlation between the W-L record of a franchise's top minor league teams and the quality of its prospect pool (as rated by BA, Law, and such) was somewhere between zero and slightly inverse. It tended to be the MLB teams with empty cupboards whose top minor league teams were stocked with minor league veterans who were good players for the level (because there aren't any real prospects needing high level playing time).
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: November 09, 2022 at 08:44 PM (#6104962)
Just curious, what would everyone's design be for a best draft system, ignoring owners and players association wishes, what would you think would result in the best way to choose draft system and why?

Obviously I would start with asking questions like what is the goal for a draft system, how do you adjust a draft system for it not to be exploited while maintaining integrity for the play on the field etc...
   10. cookiedabookie Posted: November 10, 2022 at 10:28 AM (#6104999)
#5 would be fun but of course MLBPA isn't gonna allow the players to participate

They will, for a price.
   11. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: November 10, 2022 at 06:56 PM (#6105061)
Just curious, what would everyone's design be for a best draft system, ignoring owners and players association wishes, what would you think would result in the best way to choose draft system and why?

Abolish the draft altogether. In its place, give a maximum allotment of money each team can spend on amateur free agents, more or less in line with the current amounts of slot money--the worst teams get to spend more. Leave it to the teams to spend that money however they choose.

Some of the very best players would forego a couple million extra in signing bonus from a bad/small team to sign with a good/big team, probably. That's fine. The bad/small teams would still have plenty of options to spread their allotted money around. But you would need some kind of minimum or the Pirates and Marlins would probably just choose to spend practically nothing.
   12. cookiedabookie Posted: November 11, 2022 at 12:24 PM (#6105126)
I don't know if I'd abolish the draft, but instead of creating an international draft, I'd just roll all amateur bonuses together, tell teams they can spend what they want in the draft, but they only have what's left for the international market. It would create some interesting strategies - certain teams going all in on the amateur draft and going cheap internationally, or vice versa.

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