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.
The pick isn't likely to drop that far. The way the new compensation system works any team that loses a free agent they made a qualifying offer to will only receive one pick at the end of round 1. Conversely any team who signs a player who received a qualifying offer will lose their 1st round pick but it won't be awarded to anyone. So under normal circumnstances it will balance out because the signing team loses a pick and the team he is being signed away from gains a pick. A 1 for 1 exchange. There are two exceptions to this though that could push the Pirates pick back.
1) A team signs 2 or more free agents who received qualifying offers
2) A team with a protected pick (top 10) signs a free agent who received a qualifying offer
I can't imagine those two scenarios, especially with the new rules adding up to many more than 3-4 selections. So at worst the Pirates should be selecting around #37.
I probably had no choice. The small market owners would have hung him if they did not concede something after instituting this stupid slotting system.
Draft picks which can be traded, like those other sports have, and might actually aid small-market teams? Did someone sneak this into the CBA while Selig was out getting a hot dog?
@wkkortas I believe the compensation lottery picks are the only ones that are tradeable; and that was part of the new CBA