For failing to sign first overall pick Brady Aiken, the Astros will receive the 2nd overall pick in next year’s draft as compensation. In year’s past compensation picks have created problems as they pushed the team with the tenth worst record back to the 11th pick in the draft, and under the original wording of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, only the top 10 picks in the draft were protected. But MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes has tweeted that an unreported change in the Collective Bargaining Agreement from 2013 will allow for top 11 picks in next year’s draft to be protected. Instead of just protecting the “top 10 picks,” the new CBA protects the picks of the teams with the ten worst records in baseball.
This switch could have far-reaching effects for whichever team finishes with the tenth worst record in major league baseball this season, as it will allow them to sign a qualifying free agent without surrendering its first round selection – and the approximately 3 million dollars in bonus pool money that comes with it.
In the 2012-2013 offseason, the New York Mets were victimized by the old rules. They had the tenth worst record in baseball but were pushed to the unprotected 11th spot in the draft because the Pirates got the 10th pick as compensation for not signing 2012’s No. 9 selection, Mark Appel. New York had wanted to sign free agent outfielder Michael Bourn, but he had turned down a qualifying offer from Atlanta and was therefore linked to draft-pick compensation. Reluctant to lose the 11th pick in the draft, the team considered filing an appeal with the commissioner’s office. They argued that in the spirit of the old law was to help the ten worst teams in baseball and therefore, their pick should be protected.
Before any resolution could be reached, though, Bourn agreed to a four year, 48 million dollar deal with the Indians and the issue fell from the headlines. But it evidently got major league baseball thinking and the rule was changed in short order.
Although much could change in the last two months of the season, the Mets currently have the tenth worst record in baseball again (They are actually tied with the Red Sox, but had fewer wins last season and subsequently would receive the better pick). This switch could allow New York, which has money to spend but has also shown itself to be highly concious of the draft and the organization’s long term stability, to contend for major free agents this offseason.