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Why Not Trade Draft Picks?
Posted by Peter Schoenke at 6/7/2007 10:16:00 AM
View more posts by this author

 

Unlike the NBA, NFL or NHL, you can't trade draft picks in baseball. The restriction seems a relic of the past and doesn't allow teams to maximize the value of a high draft position.

The big buzz word in the MLB draft as opposed to the other sports league drafts is "signability." Many times a team with a high pick take a lesser-skilled player because they know he'll cost less to sign, thus often negating their draft position.

From my understanding, baseball doesn't allow teams to trade picks as legacy of an era when the Kansas City A's kept shipping talent to the Yankees. The owners were worried the big market teams would just trade for all the top picks. The draft was a way for the usual last-place teams to be forced to get better.

But in an era of free agency and luxury taxes, this doesn't make sense any more. If you are a low-revenue club that can't sign a Scott Boras client, then trade down. Get some extra picks or players as a reward for your draft position, rather than just pick a more "signable" player. Some teams, like the Giants in recent memory, may feel that first-round picks are not worth the money. Other GMs may try to trade for first-round picks and hoard them as a way to supercharge their farm system.

Trading picks would only help good GMs get better. The current restrictions seem to work against the premise of the draft, which is to make the bad teams better. Instead if often limits their ability to maximize the value of those picks. Why keep this system going?


Comments....

Hmmmm, I disagree......baseball is so crooked, the yanks and red sox will just buy the top picks every year with cash.....Like the luxury tax with scare them...lmao Maybe you are right, seems like the big talent that want the big bucks seem to slip to the big cash flow teams anyways.....I just think it would be brutally abused....
Posted by Zenguerrilla at 6/7/2007 2:09:00 PM
 
I think you've pretty much encapsulated everyone's current beliefs; better to get something than be forced to take a Matt Bush first overall like the Padres did a few years back. And now that the best HS pitcher in the country slipped about 25 spots due to sign-ability, it would be the right time to bring this to the forefront. And it's already max-abused, and I don't see it getting worse.
Posted by quon at 6/7/2007 2:22:00 PM
 
As much as I am against the Salary Structure in baseball and the way it is so unbalanced, I would be in favor of letting teams trade picks if they so desire. I think of it this way: lets say the Royals have the 3rd pick and the Yankees have the 28th pick in the first round. The Yankees agree to send their 1st, 3rd and 4th round picks to Kansas City for that 3rd overall pick. The Royals would be better off with the 3 additional players, maybe one of which turns into a fulltime starter for them and one of the other two turns into a serviceable major leaguer. The guy the Yankees selected may turn into a stud, but we are now just getting to the inevitable anyway since they can sign a stud whenever they want!
Posted by Leeroy at 6/7/2007 7:22:00 PM
 
But how much incentive are the Yanks going to have to trade up, if nobody else wants to pay the kid what he's asking for...?
Posted by ESiegrist at 6/7/2007 11:00:00 PM
 
There are few teams in the Yankees' financial universe, but draft bonus money in baseball is just material, not excessively handcuffing against the MLB roster salaries. There are probably 6-10 teams that could jump up depending on the circumstance and demands. Thatís where your leverage will come from, particularly if you allow trades right up to a pick deadline; which also heightens the secondary issue of interest. The ability to manipulate the market for a Scott Boras is the only major impediment I can see, but itís already being done in a lesser fashion at present.
Posted by quon at 6/8/2007 7:21:00 AM
 
KC just needs to play the Yankees off the Red Sox and they'd get the scenario above. That's how every free agent does it.
Posted by schoenke at 6/8/2007 7:41:00 AM
 
Why would you ever want to see the same thing that already happens in baseball be carried over to the draft. Theres no guarantees from any pick outside the overall #1. A clear-cut player can and should be distinguished ahead of all others. Therefore, the ability for skills and talent to improve on your team w/ every pick exists w/o ever having to trade up or down. Baseball manages to raises its "talent stock" thru Little Leagues, Colt & Palomino Leagues, and in my opinion most importantly veteran Post Leagues. Whenever any team goes into draft day like yesterday, you're hoping to find the right talent that fits the need of your club (with the hopes of being able to compromise w/ the players agent). What decides the value is position and it doesn't represent its "true value." Trading up is only possible for very few teams. However, these are the upper echelon of financially sound clubs. If they were allowed to trade up every year you would have a situation similar to the growing gap between American social classes
Posted by ezrider247 at 6/8/2007 8:02:00 AM
 
Or if you're Darren Dreifort, play the Dodgers off themselves.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 6/8/2007 8:03:00 AM
 
What I don't care for about the draft is that the young Latino players aren't a part of it.They get snapped up at 15 and get sent to a team academy for seasoning. Why do high school and college guys have to be subjected to a draft and the Latin players don't??? Something is wrong there.
Posted by *SNUFFY* at 6/9/2007 1:29:00 PM
 

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