While the 2023 San Diego Padres finished the season strong, allowing them to end the campaign over .500 and in the hunt for a postseason spot until the last week of September, those extra victories also cost the Padres a few spots in the 2024 MLB draft order.
What do the odds look like for the San Diego Padres in the 2024 MLB draft?
Finishing the year with an 82-80 mark (.507 winning percentage), San Diego stands a 0.7 percent chance of landing the overall first pick in the 2024 MLB draft. Cue the Jim Carrey GIF saying, "So you're telling me there's a chance." Of the 18 teams that didn't make the postseason last year, only four (New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals) have a smaller chance of getting the top pick than the Friars (and Washington is there only because, according to MLB.com, "Washington is ineligible for this year’s lottery because teams that are 'payor clubs' — clubs that give, rather than receive, revenue sharing dollars -- are not allowed to be selected in consecutive lotteries."
The three teams with the best chance of securing the top overall pick are the Oakland A's, Kansas City Royals, and the Colorado Rockies, San Diego's division foe that has never had the top overall pick before. Each of those teams have an 18.3 percent chance to win the right to the top overall pick.
However, there is a caveat for the Padres. According to MLB.com, "The Mets, Yankees and Padres, by virtue of not making the playoffs, are in the lottery, and will hold their selection if they win a top-six pick. If they don’t, all three would have their selection moved back 10 places in the Draft because they exceeded the surcharge tax threshold with their player payrolls for 2023. If any of these teams do secure a lottery pick, its second-highest pick would be moved back 10 spots."
In other words, if the Padres want a pick in the upper echelon of players, they need to hope that the ping pong balls fall correctly for them. Otherwise, between the 19-7 record the Padres put together in September and the chance of getting shoved back after spending so much last season, it could be another year of waiting for Friars fans when the draft comes along.
San Diego fans (along with the rest of MLB) will know their team's place in the draft when the lottery is held during the Winter Meetings in Nashville on December 5.