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Trading Draft Picks... Where do you stand?


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With talk that MLB may someday soon institute some form of trading draft picks, I am curious as to the thoughts of our posters... where do you stand?

Personally, I love the idea. Some will argue that teams like the Yankees and Red Sox will somehow manipulate the new rules and find a way to procure the top picks... but I believe the rules will be changing wherein slots will have pre-determined bonuses.

Imagine the interest/intrigue that would be generated by allowing trading on draft day(s)-- Will the O's hold onto the #3 pick, or will they take the Angels offer of picks #'s 18, 29 & 36 overall?

Here is an interesting article on the matter by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo... http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091215&content_id=7811316&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Thoughts?

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Honestly the cons aren't many to allowing a team to trade it's picks away.

Sure a club with small revenues could decide it isn't interested in signing a prospect with high salary demands and trade down and choose to couple that with some prospects that are further along in their development.

I see no reason why they shouldn't if both clubs can see a way to better themselves. I have to say I would be in favor of allowing it. I know that there would also be winners and losers if such a thing were allowed. Just as there are now.

Would there be deals in MLB like the deal the New Orlean Saints made for Ricky Williams? Probably. I never think deals like that are smart. Though Baseball is different in that it actually has a working system in place to develop talent. Pro-Football does not.

Shouldn't small market teams be given another option to compete? It seems to me that even though the Pirates aren't likely to lock up stars to record breaking contracts. They should be allowed to manipulate talent in other ways than they have been.

As an unlikely scenario, say in June 2012 the Orioles have another top 5 pick. What if our pitching has developed beyond expectations however the team continues to lose do to poor run support. How is it advantageous for the club to draft another RHP with that choice. When if somehow it were possible to pick up say #23 and perhaps the #53 pick. Couple that with our (assuming we have one) 2nd choice. The club might be able to get better value with positional prospects.

Or... say we are winning and have a strong core of young players but still need one more guy. Let's assume there is a really advanced college prospect near the top of everyone's board. Would we really be at fault for trying to land that one player and packaging picks and perhaps a prospect to get him?

Certainly folks on the internet message boards would go nuts trying to predict how things would work out. Baseball seems to thrive on such things though and heaven forbid new interest from young folks is somehow generated.

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Honestly the cons aren't many to allowing a team to trade it's picks away.

Sure a club with small revenues could decide it isn't interested in signing a prospect with high salary demands and trade down and choose to couple that with some prospects that are further along in their development.

I see no reason why they shouldn't if both clubs can see a way to better themselves. I have to say I would be in favor of allowing it. I know that there would also be winners and losers if such a thing were allowed. Just as there are now.

Would there be deals in MLB like the deal the New Orlean Saints made for Ricky Williams? Probably. I never think deals like that are smart. Though Baseball is different in that it actually has a working system in place to develop talent. Pro-Football does not.

Shouldn't small market teams be given another option to compete? It seems to me that even though the Pirates aren't likely to lock up stars to record breaking contracts. They should be allowed to manipulate talent in other ways than they have been.

As an unlikely scenario, say in June 2012 the Orioles have another top 5 pick. What if our pitching has developed beyond expectations however the team continues to lose do to poor run support. How is it advantageous for the club to draft another RHP with that choice. When if somehow it were possible to pick up say #23 and perhaps the #53 pick. Couple that with our (assuming we have one) 2nd choice. The club might be able to get better value with positional prospects.

Or... say we are winning and have a strong core of young players but still need one more guy. Let's assume there is a really advanced college prospect near the top of everyone's board. Would we really be at fault for trying to land that one player and packaging picks and perhaps a prospect to get him?

Certainly folks on the internet message boards would go nuts trying to predict how things would work out. Baseball seems to thrive on such things though and heaven forbid new interest from young folks is somehow generated.

Solid post, I agree with much of what you say here. Teams will have options that do not exist now, and with key rules in place, it should work.

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I think there's push back on this unless the league establishes some sort of floor/ceiling on spending in the draft. The fear will be that small market teams will bail on expensive draftees and go after "lesser talent".

No matter what posters claim on here, it's HIGHLY unlikely you can make-up for passing on the top guys by simply signing more low-round players.

If there is hard slotting, I think it will be rare that you see picks traded, as outside of the top guys there is pretty comparable talent throughout.

I agree with the posts that it's an interesting idea and could make for an interesting draft day. I'm just not sure it can come about just yet. In particular, we'll have to see if hard slotting comes to fruition (which I don't think it should).

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I think there's push back on this unless the league establishes some sort of floor/ceiling on spending in the draft. The fear will be that small market teams will bail on expensive draftees and go after "lesser talent".

No matter what posters claim on here, it's HIGHLY unlikely you can make-up for passing on the top guys by simply signing more low-round players.

If there is hard slotting, I think it will be rare that you see picks traded, as outside of the top guys there is pretty comparable talent throughout.

I agree with the posts that it's an interesting idea and could make for an interesting draft day. I'm just not sure it can come about just yet. In particular, we'll have to see if hard slotting comes to fruition (which I don't think it should).

I agree with you whole-heartedly that getting multiple lower rounders is not as productive as taking that premium higher-end talent. This was why I was somewhat disappointed with the O's overall approach last year.

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I think there's push back on this unless the league establishes some sort of floor/ceiling on spending in the draft. The fear will be that small market teams will bail on expensive draftees and go after "lesser talent".

That already happens - with teams drafting players for signability reasons. One of the primary reasons for having a draft is to help the worse teams improve. Putting restrictions on what they can do with their draft picks has the opposite effect, so that goes against a primary purpose of having a draft.

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I really don't see the benefit of allowing the trading of picks. Any system that allows for gaming/trading picks would work to the advantage of the large market clubs. What do the Yankees or BoSox care if they give up their first, second and third round picks to move into the top 5 of the first round as long as those same clubs can spend $2M on fifth rounders?

Generally, the top kids go early in the draft and sign for the most $ and that talent should be distributed to the weaker clubs. There are a couple of exceptions that slip, but I do not think the system is broken. Let's face it - most clubs probably now wish they had paid Porcello, Wieters or Casey Kelly their asking price - though I expect most teams are it was the Yankees that paid up for Brackman.

I would make one change to the current system. I would limit above-slot payments after the fourth round to $2M total per team. This would force more clubs to take the key talent they want in the top four rounds - which should better align talent with the draft slot taken. It would also force some kids to stop holding clubs hostage over a summer and get more realistic with their bonus demands at the time of the draft.

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That already happens - with teams drafting players for signability reasons. One of the primary reasons for having a draft is to help the worse teams improve. Putting restrictions on what they can do with their draft picks has the opposite effect, so that goes against a primary purpose of having a draft.

But not to the same extent. BAL drafting Hobgood was a less expensive decision than drafting Matzek, but there is no disputing he was one of the top HS arms in the draft. You can find elite talent at slot cost in the first round.

The fear would be, for example, that teams could try and avoid handing out 7-figure bonuses all together by trading for more late-round picks. No matter what is said around these boards, you aren't coming close to the seven-figure talents by trying to poach above-slot signing with high six-figure bonuses. Trading picks is ONLY possible (I think) if you go to a hard slot system, and even then you probably have to accompany the hard slotting with a floor and ceiling for total money spent.

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But not to the same extent. BAL drafting Hobgood was a less expensive decision than drafting Matzek, but there is no disputing he was one of the top HS arms in the draft. You can find elite talent at slot cost in the first round.

The fear would be, for example, that teams could try and avoid handing out 7-figure bonuses all together by trading for more late-round picks. No matter what is said around these boards, you aren't coming close to the seven-figure talents by trying to poach above-slot signing with high six-figure bonuses. Trading picks is ONLY possible (I think) if you go to a hard slot system, and even then you probably have to accompany the hard slotting with a floor and ceiling for total money spent.

You're talking about just trading picks for picks. Trading shouldn't be limited to picks. You should be able to trade picks for players and/or picks - just like in every other major sport. So, you're not just trading a top 5 pick for a bunch of low picks. I agree that would be bad... but it also doesn't make sense. Just like in other sports, if you put a top 5 pick on the market, you're going to get a lot of interested teams bidding for it - and not just offering a bunch of later round picks.

Let's look at what basketball and football do - since I'm familiar with them and since they have relative parity, as opposed to baseball, ironically.

In basketball, they do have hard slots and trading - with the only limitation that you can't trade consecutive years 1sts - but even there - you get around that easily by making a prearanged deal - and right after the draft, you make the trade.

In football, they have unlimited trading, and each team has a separate rookie cap - based on where their picks are and how many picks they have.

Again, in both cases, trading gives the worse teams an additional option in which to improve their team. More options is a good thing - providing more opportunities. And I think that's why both systems are far superior to baseball's.

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You're talking about just trading picks for picks. Trading shouldn't be limited to picks. You should be able to trade picks for players and/or picks - just like in every other major sport. So, you're not just trading a top 5 pick for a bunch of low picks. I agree that would be bad... but it also doesn't make sense. Just like in other sports, if you put a top 5 pick on the market, you're going to get a lot of interested teams bidding for it - and not just offering a bunch of later round picks.

Let's look at what basketball and football do - since I'm familiar with them and since they have relative parity, as opposed to baseball, ironically.

In basketball, they do have hard slots and trading - with the only limitation that you can't trade consecutive years 1sts - but even there - you get around that easily by making a prearanged deal - and right after the draft, you make the trade.

In football, they have unlimited trading, and each team has a separate rookie cap - based on where their picks are and how many picks they have.

Again, in both cases, trading gives the worse teams an additional option in which to improve their team. More options is a good thing - providing more opportunities. And I think that's why both systems are far superior to baseball's.

Could work, but the only way it does (I think) with baseall is a good team trading picks to get a good talent.

I obviously don't see a bad team trading picks to get an established ML guy.

I question whether prospects would ever be traded for picks, considering picks are essentially lesser-developed prospects.

So, I can see your point being beneficial to the "bad" teams in that instance.

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Could work, but the only way it does (I think) with baseall is a good team trading picks to get a good talent.

I obviously don't see a bad team trading picks to get an established ML guy.

I question whether prospects would ever be traded for picks, considering picks are essentially lesser-developed prospects.

So, I can see your point being beneficial to the "bad" teams in that instance.

I guess I'm not following you. Why wouldn't a bad team ever trade picks to get an established player? That kind of trade happens frequently in other sports.

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I guess I'm not following you. Why wouldn't a bad team ever trade picks to get an established player? That kind of trade happens frequently in other sports.

Because of the economics of baseball. I could be wrong, but I think the fact that drafted talent is generally so far away from contributing that the organizations likely to target extra picks are going to be teams rebuilding.

The prospective nature of basically every pick outside of the first round or two (and in many cases even the first round) means limited value for established ML talent. I think pick-for-pick swaps are much more likely because it's easier for teams to quantify.

I could certainly be wrong.

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Because of the economics of baseball. I could be wrong, but I think the fact that drafted talent is generally so far away from contributing that the organizations likely to target extra picks are going to be teams rebuilding.

The prospective nature of basically every pick outside of the first round or two (and in many cases even the first round) means limited value for established ML talent. I think pick-for-pick swaps are much more likely because it's easier for teams to quantify.

I could certainly be wrong.

That was my thought as well. If trading picks were allowed, I think the two most common trades would be pick for pick(s) or as an addition to another trade. A draft pick could replace the infamous PTBNL in a low level trade, or it could replace the low level minor leaguer, or organizational filler guy who gets thrown-in in the back of a larger trade. An example with the Orioles would be if Tony Butler was replaced with a 2nd or 3rd round pick in the Erik Bedard trade.

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