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Monday, May 10, 2021

Whoa – MLB “Expected” to Add Trading of Draft Picks in the Next CBA?!

Buried in a very long (and very good) roundtable-type piece on the state of baseball at ESPN, Kiley McDaniel slipped in this little nugget on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (emphasis mine):

There’s also a cascading set of secondary issues that will greatly affect young players who are increasingly the most valued and important players in the game.


On the simple end of things, changing Super Two arbitration and ending service-time manipulation will change when you see young potential stars on the field (hopefully sooner) and how good your team will be. One step deeper than that, the expected addition of trading draft picks, the addition of an international draft and the trading of picks in that new draft could completely change team-building strategies for years to come while solving some of the competitive-balance issues that have plagued the sport. If a new GM steps into a farm system with a big league club full of players who aren’t their type, or an existing GM wants to change strategies on a dime, this additional talent-based liquidity will make trades much easier to pull off while also empowering scouts to have a real reason to scout every player on Earth.

I’m sorry, did you say the expected addition of trading draft picks? As in, the inside dish expectation right now is that the new CBA will include the ability to freely trade draft picks? Like, tradable next year? Hello!

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 02:08 PM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: draft

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   1. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 10, 2021 at 02:57 PM (#6018058)
This would be a great turn of events.
   2. Jesus Luzardo Maraschino Posted: May 10, 2021 at 03:11 PM (#6018063)
On the simple end of things, changing Super Two arbitration and ending service-time manipulation will change when you see young potential stars on the field (hopefully sooner) and how good your team will be.


Huh?
   3. The Mighty Quintana Posted: May 10, 2021 at 03:17 PM (#6018066)
What would be the age minimum for the International Draft? Are they sure they want the optics of teams drafting 13 year-olds? I suppose it happens now, but it is under the table. This would bring it all out into the open.
   4. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 03:25 PM (#6018072)
I feel like this is burying the lede. Isn’t an international draft a much bigger change?
   5. Rally Posted: May 10, 2021 at 03:57 PM (#6018089)
If they are going to allow draft pick trades it might be a good time to pre-emptively institute the Stepien rule.

Otherwise, any bets on who the first team will be to trade their picks for expensive name brand players, fall into crapitude, and watch someone else use their #1 pick to take a potential superstar? I can think of one owner who seems to be enamored with the idea of making a big splash.

   6. The Duke Posted: May 10, 2021 at 04:02 PM (#6018091)
An international draft or Latin American draft ? You can’t simply draft Korean and Japanese players.

A Latin American draft will end the payola/fugitive-running stuff that has happened in the past.

Trading picks seems like a bad idea. I don’t like the NFL system and don’t want to see it in the MLB. I don’t want to see the “first round pick for your next five years rounds 2-4 picks”
   7. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 04:16 PM (#6018101)

Trading picks seems like a bad idea. I don’t like the NFL system and don’t want to see it in the MLB. I don’t want to see the “first round pick for your next five years rounds 2-4 picks”


When has the NFL had trades like that recently? There was the Herschel Walker trade and the Ricky Williams trade, but both are recognized as stupid moves and teams generally don't do that anymore. You have the 49ers trading three 1st round picks for #3 this year, but that's at least an attempt to get a potential franchise quarterback. Apart from that sort of circumstance, you don't get many crazy trades.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 04:18 PM (#6018103)
If they are going to allow draft pick trades it might be a good time to pre-emptively institute the Stepien rule.

Otherwise, any bets on who the first team will be to trade their picks for expensive name brand players, fall into crapitude, and watch someone else use their #1 pick to take a potential superstar? I can think of one owner who seems to be enamored with the idea of making a big splash.


Hell, worse that that. Teams will trade their 1st rd. picks for a league minimum mediocre 2nd year regular to avoid paying the bonus. I can totally see Pittsburgh sending the #1 overall pick to Tampa Bay for Randy Arozarena to save the $5M bucks.
   9. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 10, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6018106)
"we can't allow traded picks because someone might be dumb"
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 04:40 PM (#6018114)
"we can't allow traded picks because someone might be dumb"

Not dumb, effectively corrupt. We have owners that don't care at all about winning if they can reap guaranteed profits from that sweet-sweet central fund revenue. I could also see picks tied to bad contracts by that sort of team.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 04:47 PM (#6018115)

Trading picks seems like a bad idea. I don’t like the NFL system and don’t want to see it in the MLB. I don’t want to see the “first round pick for your next five years rounds 2-4 picks”


The NBA instituted a rule to prevent trading multiple years of first round picks, so MLB could impose a similar rule. Why wouldn't you allow them to trade rounds 2-4, which are much, much less valuable picks?
   12. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: May 10, 2021 at 04:48 PM (#6018116)
On the simple end of things, changing Super Two arbitration and ending service-time manipulation will change when you see young potential stars on the field (hopefully sooner) and how good your team will be.


Huh?

I thought my second shot was making me loopy. Glad to see others are confused here because I seriously have no idea what he is saying. Isn't the goal to get young stars on the field hopefully sooner? So that can't change Super 2, it's the other way around.
   13. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 10, 2021 at 05:16 PM (#6018119)
Nevermind that Randy Arozarena would be a fine outcome for a first overall pick.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: May 10, 2021 at 05:36 PM (#6018125)
Agree that sentence is mysterious (maybe it made snese in context?) but I'm guessing he's thinking something like super-2 becomes 2.5 years (lower?) and so teams will be even more reluctant to hold the players back. I'm not sure that's how the current manipulation is really working. Bryant should have been up in 2014 (after the super-2 deadline) but the Cubs held him back for that year and 9 days ... they might have liked to hold him back for 2 months in 2015 but were "forced" to bring him up due to circumstances but they weren't really concerned that he was going to be super-2 after 2017.

On trading draft picks -- meh. Why does trading for a pick open (substantially) more options than trading for somebody from the universe of minor-leaguers? Pretty clearly, Wander Franco is more valuable right now than the 2021 #1 slot. They even got rid of the rule about only trading players with at least one year's experience so, in theory, you can work out a "hey would you mind spending your #25 pick on Mike Trout and we'll gladly trade you this hot young reliever after the draft" sort of trade.

I agree there's no particularly strong reason not to allow trading of picks, I just don't see it as altering much of anything.

If a new GM steps into a farm system with a big league club full of players who aren’t their type

Examples? And even if it happened, that GM could trade those ML players for a bunch of minor-leaguers with actual track records and watch his brilliant plan come to fruition in 2 years rather than for a bunch of draft picks, wait 3-4 years, then watch things unravel because as soon as the acquired picks are hitting their stride, the original minor-leaguers are hitting expensive arb/FA years.

The MLB draft simply isn't the NBA/NFL draft. Certainly trading ML players for draft picks isn't "turning on a dime", it's signing onto 3 years of super-suck followed by two years of development-struggle then maybe you're good. That's turning around an oil tanker.
   15. GregD Posted: May 10, 2021 at 05:52 PM (#6018128)
Nevermind that Randy Arozarena would be a fine outcome for a first overall pick.
totally
   16. Walt Davis Posted: May 10, 2021 at 06:34 PM (#6018136)
Nevermind that Randy Arozarena would be a fine outcome for a first overall pick.

If he was younger for sure but, even as he's turning out good, 99 PA through age 25 would not be much for a #1 overall. Fortunately he took a much different route but right now he's on the Josh Hamilton career path. But agree with the general point.

I wonder how many of us could name the top 5 #1 overall picks by career WAR (not me). The top 4 are pretty easy (might get stuck on #4) but it might take several guesses to come up with #5. I'd be pretty impressed if anybody could name the top 10 without lots of guesses (hint: only one is active). Hint #2: there's only one pitcher in the top 10. Hint #3 (not much of a hint but a factoid): the very first one, Rick Monday, is still 11th.
   17. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 10, 2021 at 07:43 PM (#6018149)
I love being able to trade draft picks, for all kinds of reasons:

1) Even though the MLB draft is almost entirely unknown high school, JC, and college players after, like, the top three picks, it would make it a lot more fun. Baseball could be making its draft a TV event worth watching (not like the NFL draft, but still fun to watch), with a live fan experience component, the best prospects being there, have some legends from each major-league team there to represent the teams and announce the picks, they mingle with the fans, etc.

For example, I went to the Cooperstown Induction Weekend in 2015 (Pedro, Randy Johnson, Smoltz, Biggio), and it was a zoo. Just awesome. One of the best parts was putting around with a friend of mine, and ducking into a baseball card store, where they had four guys signing autographs for, like, $10 each. They were Luis Tiant, Bert Campaneris, George Foster, and Al Downing. Downing had no line at the time I came in, so I ended up shooting the sh*t with him for a good ten minutes, talking about a common acquaintance we had (I went to grad school with his nephew), talking baseball - what a sweet guy. Awesome. You could totally make the MLB draft a weekend event like that, but have guys like George Foster announce the Reds pick; Tiant the Red Sox pick; etc. Then you can have trades, and it will increase interest. 40 years ago, the idea that the NFL draft would become what it is now would be unthinkable - this opportunity to create a fun opportunity is just sitting there.

2) People are not going to pull a Ted Septien and trade all their #1 picks for Martin Perez or something. But let's say you traded your 1st round pick for a major-league player. What are you actually giving up?
I picked 2014 out of the air, because we should pretty much know if your pick is going to make it or not by now. There were 41 picks in the 1st round that year:

- 13 of the 41 literally never played in the big leagues...including the #1 and #2 overall picks!
- 9 of the 41 have a career negative WAR
- 11 of the 41 have a career WAR of between 0 and 2.9 - career.
- Here are the remaining eight players:
Aaron Nola
Matt Chapman
Trea Turner
Michael Conforto
Kyle Freeland
Jack Flaherty
Carlos Rodon
Kyle Schwarber

Would you trade your first round pick if I told you that, in exchange, you'd get the career of Kyle Schwarner in exchange? Most of you probably would not - but the reality is that he will end up delivering more career value than at least 33 of the other 40 players drafted in the first round that year.

And below that? In the second round of the 2014 draft, out of 33 picks, 15 have played a major-league game (most sparingly), and only two have a career WAR above...0.3. (Verdugo and Spencer Turnbull)

Spencer Turnbull is clearly the 2nd-most productive player to come out of the 2nd round of the 2014 MLB draft. Would you trade your 2nd round pick for Spencer Turnbull?

It will be fun to trade draft picks, and it will cause fans to get more excited about the draft, well beyond what is justified. And even if you "hit" on your second-round pick with Spencer Turnbull, it took Detroit over four years before he appeared in a major-league game. If you can get immediate league-average, cost-controlled production out of an everyday second baseman, or 300 league-average innings out of a starting pitcher, in exchange for a 1st or 2nd-round pick, you should probably take it.
   18. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 07:53 PM (#6018152)

I could also see picks tied to bad contracts by that sort of team.

This is the worrisome part to me because it effectively amounts to the buying and selling of draft picks.
   19. The Mighty Quintana Posted: May 10, 2021 at 08:41 PM (#6018160)
People are not going to pull a Ted Septien and trade all their #1 picks for Martin Perez or something.


I'd take a 30th round pick for Martin Perez right now.
   20. Hombre Brotani Posted: May 10, 2021 at 08:52 PM (#6018161)
This is the worrisome part to me because it effectively amounts to the buying and selling of draft picks.
This was also my first reaction as well. I'm fine with a Latin America draft, but there's a lot on the plate here that just doesn't taste quite right.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: May 10, 2021 at 09:11 PM (#6018167)
it effectively amounts to the buying and selling of draft picks

What is the difference between "if you want our 1st round pick, you have to take the rest of Miguel Cabrera's contract" and "if you want one of our top prospects, you have to take the rest of Miguel Cabrera's contract"?

We don't see many of the latter trades (at least I can't think of them) although they are perfectly legal. So what is it about draft picks that would give rise to them?

What we do see is "if you want us to trade you a real prospect for Arenado, you need to eat some of his contract." (I have no idea if any of the players traded for Arenado was a prospect.) We'll see that type of trade with draft picks flowing towards the team dropping the (still productive) expesnive player.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 10, 2021 at 09:22 PM (#6018170)
What is the difference between "if you want our 1st round pick, you have to take the rest of Miguel Cabrera's contract" and "if you want one of our top prospects, you have to take the rest of Miguel Cabrera's contract"?

Both of them suck. One is currently not allowed. Why don't we disallow the other one, rather than give more scope for sucking-for-dollars?
   23. Walt Davis Posted: May 10, 2021 at 09:22 PM (#6018171)
Ahh, the Bronson Arroyo trade from DBacks to Braves which was so the Braves could acquire Touki Toussaint for Phil Gosselin. Not long after the Braves traded Arroyo and a whole heap of guys, most importantly Alex Wood, to the Dodgers for a bunch of nothing including the expensive nothing Hector Oliveira (not sure how the total $ worked out on that deal). Toussaint hasn't done anything of note yet and is now 25.

The 2nd and subsequent Matt Kemp trades were all salary dumps but those involved other bad contracts going the other way, including Olivera again. Jeter Downs might yet turn into something but presumably that trade was more about the Reds acquiring Alex Wood and Puig. Possibly the Red Sox then bought Downs by eating some of Price's salary in the Mookie trade but that's not how I see it.
   24. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 10, 2021 at 09:48 PM (#6018178)
With the strict salary cap for drafted players (total amount a team can spend) with tiered amounts for each spot in the draft, I can definitely see a time where a money tight team might trade down the draft to save money on a pick, and get something extra in return for doing so.
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 10, 2021 at 11:04 PM (#6018195)
Both of them suck. One is currently not allowed. Why don't we disallow the other one, rather than give more scope for sucking-for-dollars?
You really want to ban trading bad contracts along with prospects? And you really think this is even remotely possible to do? What would the rule actually be?
   26. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 11, 2021 at 09:23 AM (#6018223)
The Red Sox basically gave nothing to the Yankees in exchange for Adam Ottavino and Frank German. It was commonly acknowledged that the Red Sox had some money to spend on a one-year deal, and the Yankees wanted to dump Ottavino's contract, so the Red Sox said, "We'll take Ottavino, if you give us a decent pitching prospect", which is what happened.

Is anybody suggesting this trade should be disallowed?

At any rate, German was a 4th round pick in 2018 by the Yankees. I guarantee the Red Sox would rather have the prospect than, say, a 2nd-round pick in 2021 or something.
   27. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 11, 2021 at 10:16 AM (#6018232)
to the Dodgers for a bunch of nothing


It could be worse. In 2003 the Daiei Hawks traded their star third baseman, Hiroki Kokubo, to the Yomiuri Giants for literally nothing. They just gave him away.

He'd had a falling out with the team over getting expensive medical treatment they didn't approve of, and also Daiei was bleeding money and getting rid of his salary would save them a little money. Still doesn't explain why they didn't ask for anything in return though.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 11:47 AM (#6018254)
You really want to ban trading bad contracts along with prospects? And you really think this is even remotely possible to do? What would the rule actually be?

I don't know if it can feasibly be banned, but I think it's a bad thing, especially for poorer teams. For a team managing the luxury tax, it doesn't really have a negative impact.

A payroll floor would certainly help. If every team had to spend $100M on major league payroll, then the incentive to dump contracts would be way down.
   29. sunday silence (again) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 01:48 PM (#6018285)
Even though the MLB draft is almost entirely unknown high school, JC, and college players after, like, the top three picks, it would make it a lot more fun. Baseball could be making its draft a TV event worth watching....


They're broadcasting this during All Star break, no?

IMAGINE THE BETTING POSSIBILITIES!
   30. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 11, 2021 at 02:59 PM (#6018308)
I don't know if it can feasibly be banned, but I think it's a bad thing, especially for poorer teams. For a team managing the luxury tax, it doesn't really have a negative impact.


We know what you think. You've been saying it for years. What would an alternative look like? How would it work in practice? What are the outcomes from the alternative, both good and bad?

A payroll floor would certainly help. If every team had to spend $100M on major league payroll, then the incentive to dump contracts would be way down.


You've countless times around here stated that the goal is winning. Square that with your idea above and tell us how the Tigers win more if they're stuck with Cabrera? The Blue Jays with Vernon Wells? The Rockies with Tulo? The Mariners with Cano? The Rangers with ARod?
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 03:13 PM (#6018314)
You've countless times around here stated that the goal is winning. Square that with your idea above and tell us how the Tigers win more if they're stuck with Cabrera? The Blue Jays with Vernon Wells? The Rockies with Tulo? The Mariners with Cano? The Rangers with ARod?

ARod was not a problem for the Rangers; he earned every bit of his contract. The Mariners got young talent in the Cano trade, so that's a weird one.

The Tigers should draft and develop well, and cut Cabrera when they have a better option. The payroll is $80M, and they've run a $200M payroll in the past. Cabrera isn't stopping them from acquiring or keeping young talent, or making smart FA signings. Allowing them to dump Cabrera at the cost of a good young player or pick, just pads their profits while delaying the recovery of the talent base.
   32. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: May 11, 2021 at 04:00 PM (#6018326)
including the expensive nothing Hector Oliveira


In fairness, the Braves didn't think he was nothing. Manager Fredi Gonzalez had scouted him personally and thought he would be a stud (also that he was a high character player, so whiffed twice). The initial hype might have worn off, but the thought was he could step in and play starting caliber 3B for the Braves from day 1.
   33. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 11, 2021 at 04:06 PM (#6018328)
ARod was not a problem for the Rangers; he earned every bit of his contract.


And they still came in last place every season with him.

The Mariners got young talent in the Cano trade, so that's a weird one.


What's weird about that? They unloaded a massive contract and you keep saying that should be prohibited.

The Tigers should draft and develop well...


Universal truism.

...and cut Cabrera when they have a better option.


So anything but trade him.

The payroll is $80M, and they've run a $200M payroll in the past.


Irrelevant.

Cabrera isn't stopping them from acquiring or keeping young talent, or making smart FA signings.


Winning. The subject is winning. He is not helping.

Allowing them to dump Cabrera at the cost of a good young player or pick, just pads their profits while delaying the recovery of the talent base.


So you're saying 1) a business should not increase profits and 2) if they could get "a good young player" for Cabrera that would be part of "delaying the recovery of the talent base."

You know what you don't like in the current MLB setup but you've demonstrated no logic to an alternative. So you're basically just complaining.
   34. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 04:12 PM (#6018329)
A payroll floor would certainly help. If every team had to spend $100M on major league payroll, then the incentive to dump contracts would be way down.



You've countless times around here stated that the goal is winning. Square that with your idea above and tell us how the Tigers win more if they're stuck with Cabrera? The Blue Jays with Vernon Wells? The Rockies with Tulo? The Mariners with Cano? The Rangers with ARod?


I'm with Snapper on a payroll floor, but I see it as a way to encourage teams to pay more to their younger players. I would include minor league salaries in the floor. No, the old broken player getting paid for past years superlative play is not a plus for a team, but a team that pays Kris Bryant more early on and then potentially re-signs him to a more team friendly deal could be better off.
   35. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 11, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6018331)
...but a team that pays Kris Bryant more early on and then potentially re-signs him to a more team friendly deal could be better off.


Teams aren't going to pay young players more than they have to or more than they are seen as worth (like with Longoria and the Rays).

Teams, players, and agents are all focused on the money. Exceptions are rare. Pick a lower=spending/revenue club as an example than the Cubs and Bryant. How much did the Indians have to pay Lindor early on to be able to keep him later? What would the FA-buyout contract then look like? Ditto Giancarlo.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 04:56 PM (#6018343)

And they still came in last place every season with him.


Because the rest of the team sucked. The ARod signing helped them win games, their other decisions (Chan Ho Park anyone?) put them in the cellar. They finished 3rd, 3rd, 3rd and 4th after dumping him.

What's weird about that? They unloaded a massive contract and you keep saying that should be prohibited.

They traded a huge contract and a RP and got good young talent. I'm opposed to bundling the young talent with the "bad" contract, not trading said contract for young talent.

So anything but trade him.

No. Trade him if you can, just don't attach a top prospect to him just to save money.

Irrelevant.

It is 100% relevant as to whether Cabrera's contract is preventing them from winning. They still aren't acquiring talent despite tons of payroll room.

Winning. The subject is winning. He is not helping.

He's on;y costing them money. If you have a better option, bench him.

You know what you don't like in the current MLB setup but you've demonstrated no logic to an alternative. So you're basically just complaining.

I want teams that are terrible and don't spend money on players to suffer financially, not to be the most profitable in the league.

I've often proposed a fix; I'll do it again.

Any team that spends less than $100M on major league payroll and signing bonuses, gets their shared revenue reduced $ for $ by the difference. Run a $40M payroll, you get $160M from shared sources rather than $200M. Teams would have no financial incentive no to try and at least be respectable in their bad years.
   37. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 11, 2021 at 05:11 PM (#6018346)
If this
Trade him if you can, just don't attach a top prospect to him just to save money.


and this
Any team that spends less than $100M on major league payroll and signing bonuses, gets their shared revenue reduced $ for $ by the difference. Run a $40M payroll, you get $160M from shared sources rather than $200M. Teams would have no financial incentive no to try and at least be respectable in their bad years.


are related, you've made no direct connection. If the penalty for being under some payroll threshold is as you described, why would you regulate trades like you're describing?

I was only talking about trades, what this thread has been about. So you still haven't laid out what the trading rules would look like.
   38. Walt Davis Posted: May 11, 2021 at 06:58 PM (#6018370)
You've countless times around here stated that the goal is winning. Square that with your idea above and tell us how the Tigers win more if they're stuck with Cabrera? The Blue Jays with Vernon Wells? The Rockies with Tulo? The Mariners with Cano? The Rangers with ARod?

Snapper already addressed this a bit but let's be clear. What has been suggested, the event Snapper is trying to avoid, is the Tigers deciding they don't want Cabrera's contract anymore (because the owner wants that money in his pocket) and so trades Cabrera and a top pick/prospect to the Yankees in exhange for nothing.

In that scenario it's pretty obvious how the Tigers win more by being stuck with Cabrera -- they get to keep the top pick/prospect. Snapper is not objecting to the Tigers trading Cabrera, he is objecting to the hypothetical of the Tigers giving up young talent to get out from under Cabrera.

And how else could they trade Cabrera at this point? Even if they ate all but $3 M of what he's owed, they'd get no takers. Cabrera is still owed about $80 M ... is there even a single prospect in baseball a team would buy at that price? But sure, the Yanks might feel $30 M for Casey Mize is a decent deal and offer to take Cabrera, Mize and $50 M from the Tigers, saving the Tigers $30 M. That's what Snapper wants to outlaw. I don't know how to do that but it's clearly something we don't want to see.

In short: 2) if they could get "a good young player" for Cabrera that would be part of "delaying the recovery of the talent base." is the exact opposite of what Snapper said. He said the Tigers giving up a good young player to dump Cabrera would delay the recovery of the talent base. Pretty much impossible to argue with that hypothetical -- finding an actual example is the challenge.

Now, largely unrelated:

What's weird about that? They unloaded a massive contract

Cano wasn't a "massive" contract. He was owed 5/$120 M and the Ms had to eat half of that (mainly by taking on Bruce and that reliever). Diaz was the main piece for the Mets. If anything, the money the Ms added helped them buy prospects.

Some folks seem to equate Cano and Pujols. Old players cliff-dive all the time so they are always a major risk but prior to that trade, Cano produced

7.3 WAR at age 33
2.9 WAR at age 34 in a full season
3.4 WAR at age 35 in a half-season, about half before and half after the suspension. (317/363/497 after returning.)

So no durability issues and 8 WAA over 2.5 seasons. By WAA, that was the 3rd most for 2B ages 33-35 in the expansion era (Whitaker, Kent). 5/$120 for that guy is a bad idea because of his age ... but the Mets were really only on the hook for about 5/$60. For a declining 5-WAR player? That was perfectly reasonable but a risk it would produce nothing. He was below-average in 2019 but put up a 143 OPS+ in 2020 (apparently with some assistance). Of course they don't have to pay him at all this year.

The Cano contract is almost a perfect example of using contract length as deferment. The Ms got a great deal on those first 5 years -- 23.5 WAR, 13 WAA in 4.5 full seasons at $108 (plus .5 suspension and $12 M not paid). 23.5 WAR should cost you about $180 M so the Ms "made" about $72 M "profit." At the end of those 5 years, he was projected to produce about $60 M in value, probably less, over the last 5 years of the contract so the Ms would "lose" about $60 M in that time. That's exactly how it was supposed to work. And of course when they decided to trade him, any interested teams were well aware of all that and had no intention of covering the Ms losses over the last 5 years. His lousy age 36 season pretty much guaranteed he wasn't gonna hit that 6-8 WAR target for the last 5 years.

FWIW, Kent had 11 WAR, 2.5 WAA left; Whitaker 8 WAR, 4 WAA. $120 would be too much for that sort of production, $60 about right.
   39. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 07:08 PM (#6018372)
Spencer Turnbull is clearly the 2nd-most productive player to come out of the 2nd round of the 2014 MLB draft. Would you trade your 2nd round pick for Spencer Turnbull?

It will be fun to trade draft picks, and it will cause fans to get more excited about the draft, well beyond what is justified.


My takeaway from this is that individual draft picks, apart from maybe the top few of the first round, should have very little value. Even the top picks are much more crapshoots than the NHL, NBA, or NFL. So will there be much trading?

I mean, take an average team's #1 prospect. That alone would cost 2-4 1st round picks, no? Someone actually good now (not great) on a cheap contract, could cost a dozen first-round picks.
   40. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 11, 2021 at 07:34 PM (#6018377)
Walt, this isn't about WAR or WAA or dollars. What would the rule(s) look like regarding what is or isn't a permissible trade? Telling us what happened in trades is (of course) 20/20. Snapper wants a rule without that hindsight.

As is, if the Tigers can get NY to take $77M of the $80M owed to Cabrera, I commend Avila and suggest Cashman polish his resume. The number of wins across the game will go unchanged no matter where Cabrera plays. And if history is any guide, there will always be poorly run teams. So explain how to regulate the market with trade rules that attempt to make people smarter than they are.
   41. sunday silence (again) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 08:20 PM (#6018386)
Walt just said he doesnt know how to do that.

   42. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 11, 2021 at 09:51 PM (#6018422)
Walt just said he doesnt know how to do that.


You're correct and I knew that. Bad writing on my part for squeezing in a comment while making dinner. Sorry. My point was that we don't need additional discussions rehashing past trades, but we could maybe land on something interesting if this were thought through. I don't see a need (or have a desire) for regulating how teams use their assets, but that doesn't preclude bandying about ideas.
   43. cardsfanboy Posted: May 11, 2021 at 09:59 PM (#6018430)
I've never seen a good argument for trading of draft picks in baseball. (or any sport that doesn't have a hard salary cap) You are awarded the draft pick because your front office sucks, why would you let them have a chance of bettering themselves when history suggests they suck already, at the best they might luck into a premier player, at worse they continue to suck as they have done, but they don't actively sabotage the teams chances with their incompetence, since, at least in the early first round there is generally a rough consensus of the best.
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 12, 2021 at 10:58 AM (#6018519)
Walt just said he doesnt know how to do that.


It's very hard. That's why I think a salary floor is the way to solve it indirectly. If a team HAS to spend $100M, getting out from under a bad contract is much less attractive.

If a team wants to trade a contract to reinvest the money, that's fine.
   45. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 12, 2021 at 02:41 PM (#6018579)
If a team HAS to spend $100M, getting out from under a bad contract is much less attractive.


For one, obviously this has no effect on bigger-money markets. The Yankees can still do whatever with Ellsbury, the Cubs with Heyward, etc. So the real effects are on lower-money teams.

But I don't think that will mean, for example, the Indians give Lindor a contract to keep him around. Instead I think the $70M payroll team—is that actual payroll or the CBT calculation for the salary floor?—will basically waste $30M in overpays (e.g., a middle reliever worth $7M gets a one-year deal worth $10M) or bad roster filler. Sure, most around here are happy to see players getting more money, but is this really any better for the overall on-field product? That is what we're trying to improve, right? (not sarcasm, maybe your thinking about other things with this idea)
   46. villageidiom Posted: May 12, 2021 at 03:00 PM (#6018581)
An international draft or Latin American draft ? You can’t simply draft Korean and Japanese players.

A Latin American draft will end the payola/fugitive-running stuff that has happened in the past.
I am making assumptions, but I suppose it could be (a) an international draft and (b) rules prohibiting teams from signing an international player who did not enter the draft.
   47. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 12, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6018586)
I am making assumptions, but I suppose it could be (a) an international draft and (b) rules prohibiting teams from signing an international player who did not enter the draft.
Boras is already collaborating with Elon Musk on an office/"player residential complex" on Mars.

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