One of the more ignored (up to now) draft-related aspects of the new CBA is that baseball has instituted a “competitive balance lottery” to award extra first and second round picks to cash-poor/bad teams. When I first read about this I thought of this as basically a blood payment to small-market clubs like the Pirates that like to spend money on the later rounds in the draft and seeing the way that this year’s draft played out makes me feel no differently about it.
The good news is that the Pirates won a pick in today’s lottery and it’s a good one at that; the second pick in the compensation round behind the Royals. This will drop some with free agency, but with changes to the free agency compensation system there shouldn’t be as many sandwich picks and so it’s likely that the pick the Pirates got today will be in the ballpark of the 45th overall pick they got for Ryan Doumit this winter. That will give the Pirates three picks in the top 50 or so (or better) of next year’s draft, which should give them plenty of flexibility should they want to draft a player at #9 that demands a huge overslot bonus.
UPDATE: It’s also worth noting that this draft pick (and only this draft pick) is tradeable, which presumably helps the Pirates out some at this upcoming trade deadline.