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Changing the MLB Draft

Posted by rogrulz30 , 23 February 2020 · 1,610 views

Changing the MLB Draft As I have the opportunity to watch Spring Training Baseball and watching all of the future MN Twins and future MLB players it got me thinking about the MLB Draft. Seems like an odd time to talk about the 2020 MLB draft, since that takes place on June 10th. The Twins have the 22nd selection this year and there are 40 rounds to draft more future players. I wanted to just write about how I would love the MLB draft to change, and the changes I would make to not only the draft but how the MLB draft could help change the competitive landscape of all MLB teams and keep the fan base fore every team interested longer.

Lets start with the basic premise on the current draft style. Each team gets a draft pick in the first round based off of the previous years performance. Simply put, other than some oddities the worst team the previous year gets the number 1 pick in the draft. The World Series winner would get the 30th pick in the MLB draft. This year is a bit different as the Astros have the first 2 picks nullified through the cheating scandal and the Nationals have the 22nd pick vs the 29th pick. In the current format picks cannot be traded and the draft is held in June. There are compensatory picks each year that are called round A and B. This is competitive balance picks for free agents that don't sign with the previous team that signs a contract over $50 million $'s and the team that signs that free agent gives up that pick, which ranges in the number pick it is. Very simple process that has some strategy due to the slot $ allotment, but there are 40 rounds in the draft.

Currently the MLB draft is held on the MLB channel, ( which I absolutely love that channel as I could watch it all day) the team is on the clock and the announcers talk about the team needs and who they think they may draft, they have a certain amount of time to talk about the player drafted and the team that player goes to. For what its worth they do a good enough job based off of the data they have to make it somewhat compelling to hardcore baseball fans. Here is how I would change it all:

I would introduce an auction style draft, but in this auction style draft I would like to set up some MLB rules that allows money to be distributed to teams a bit differently. First the base premise of an auction draft is you start with a certain amount of money and you pick a player, you start at a bid of (we will say $1, but can be whatever you set the rules at). The only rule is you have to have $1 left for each round you have left to pick the player. If you start with $100, and there are 10 rounds you can only spend up to $91 on the first player because you have to have $1 left for each of the other rounds because you pick the player that will be drafted and if there are no other bidders on that player you have to buy the player for that $1. So that is what we are going to go with except there are rules for each to team to get and accumulate $'s for lets say the 2022 draft. Here are some of the rules before the draft starts:

I would change Free Agency to a 2 week signing period that starts the day after the Super Bowl. Free agency period lasts for 2 weeks. After the Free Agency period is over each team understands that they still have gaps and trade season happens before the draft that starts the week before Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring Training. Now this is where the other rules of $'s come into play. Here is where changing the landscape of how each team gets money makes competition and spending money to be competitive comes into play.

Right now the average $'s spent on a MLB team is about $129 million. If you take the average spent and you take the bottom team money spent which is the Orioles this year you get kind of a mean from the average to the bottome which is $87 million. MLB has a luxury tax threshold on spending too much, but they don't have a bottom $'s spent penalty and I think there should be. For every $5 million spent under the $87 million you get a $1k penalty in the auction draft $'s you receive. This puts a bottom on the $'s spent without a penalty and that can change each year. This would be the first step in having more team competitive. Next step:

Right now the worst team in MLB gets the #1 pick in the draft. I want to give every team an opportunity to get the best player, but I also want the teams that didn't make the playoffs the year before to get the best chance. What if the 15th best team in MLB got the biggest advantage in the MLB draft. A couple of thoughts on why: 10 teams currently get into the playoffs in baseball. Usually another 4 teams are really vying to get in the playoffs and they typically put the best efforts in the rest of the year to get in. What if in an auction style draft we give the 15th placed team the most amount of $s to spend, then the next 7 after that would get $1k less than the $30k on down, then the worst to first teams after that. So 15th gets $30k, WS champs gets $15k.
Now instead of the Tigers essentially getting the first pick the 15th best team gets the most amount of money, then next 5 teams, then start with the worst team in MLB which would be the Tigers, then the 10th best team that made the playoffs until the WS Winner. That sounds complicated, but it really isn't. Just $1k increments from the most money to the lowest money to WS Champion

Each MLB team gets a minimum of $15k to start the MLB draft, the minimum amount the starting bid is $1k. The max amount that you get based off of the standings is $30k, this doesn't not include what you would get for compensatory picks, as those get added/subtracted based on what those values actually are in comp A and B. A math person can figure out the values of those, and if you didn't spend $87 million you get a penalty for that. All together though no team can start the draft without at least $15k, this is what is distributed after the end of the season. The fun part of this is. A, you don't need to spend all of your allotted money on this years draft, B, during the year you have the opportunity to trade for draft $'s, C this gives every team more incentive to try all year, D, Every player in the draft can go to any team any year. One last part of this draft is the Auction draft only goes the first 6 rounds, after 6 rounds the worst team in MLB starts round 7 and now goes back to a snake draft that starts with the worst team and goes to the best team. The other part of this is the first 6 rounds would have 180 players, MLB picks the top 200 players that will be part of the auction draft.

So to summarize, each MLB team needs to spend money on players and needs to spend a minimum or they get penalized in draft $'s. The 15th best team in MLB gets awarded the most amount of draft $'s vs the worst team in MLB. MLB picks the top 200 players that are going to be part of the auction and there will be a 6 round auction draft that includes 30 MLB teams, unless someone cheats again. After 6 rounds the worst MLB team from the previous year starts the snake draft that goes the rest of the 40 rounds. You are now allowed to use trade $'s in any MLB trade. There is still an allotted amount that is based off of the players that the most amount of $ gets spent on them, very similar to the allotment that goes to pick 1-30.

I know there is a lot of baseball guys in this blogging room, I know you will through a lot of holes you will throw in this, but me personally I would love a new style draft and more competition between all teams similar to the NFL. Let me know your thoughts.