It’s not a salary cap. It’s not an increased luxury tax. It’s not additional money to sign draft picks or international players. But it’s something more than the small-market clubs have had before. Part of the new collective bargaining agreement in Major League Baseball is a newly-created competitive balance lottery.
- The lottery will take place in July of 2012, after the draft signing deadline.
- The ten smallest market clubs and ten lowest revenue clubs will be included in the lottery. With overlap, it is unlikely there will ever be a full 20 teams involved in the lottery.
- The lottery will grant six extra picks for the 2013 draft.
- The odds of receiving an extra pick in the lottery are based on the team’s winning percentage the prior season. The lower the percentage, the higher the odds.
- The actual draft picks will be slotted at the end of the first round after all free agent compensation picks are made.
- There will be a second group of six picks at the end of the second round. Teams not chosen in the lottery for the first six picks will be added to all teams receiving revenue sharing for a chance at one of the six picks at the end of the second round.
- Picks can be traded, but only by the team awarded the pick in the lottery.
So how does this affect the Padres?
The Padres will be amongst the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Brewers, Marlins, Indians, Athletics, Orioles, Reds, Royals, Pirates, Rockies, and Rays in this inaugural lottery. They will have a shot, potentially, of snagging one of these lottery picks, two compensation picks for Heath Bell, and a second round compensation pick for Aaron Harang. That would give them a grand total of six picks in the first two rounds of the 2012 and 2013 drafts. They should actually end up with more than that altogether by the time 2013 comes around, and that’s exactly what a small-market club needs to keep their farm system stocked and compete on a low-budget.
The downside to this lottery is in the number of extra picks it creates in the draft. The first round of the draft, starting in 2013, will consist of 30 first round picks, all the additional free agent compensation picks (amount still to be determined), and the six lottery picks.
All in all the competitive balance lottery should be a good thing for small-market clubs, but until teams learn how the system will play out, things could get interesting.