May
02

2011 Draft: KLaw’s Updated Top 50 Prospects

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ESPN’s Keith Law posted his updated list of the top 50 draft prospects late last week (Insider only), though he still has UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole, Rice 3B Anthony Rendon, and HS OF/RHP Bubba Starling in the top three spots. Since the Yankees don’t pick until 51st overall, pay extra attention to the players at the back end of the list, a few of whom I’ve written about here. Get ready for some HS RHP Hudson Boyd (ranked 46th) coverage this week, he’s a personal fave.

TCU LHP Matt Purke fell off the list completely due a shoulder issue that was recently diagnosed as bursitis. He will begin a throwing program this week, and is expected to be ready in time for the NCAA postseason. He’s not in the clear though, Purke needs to look something like his old self if expects to go first round. If he doesn’t, he’ll be a prime candidate to fall due to injury concerns.

Categories : Asides

52 Comments»

  1. pat says:

    COOOOOOOOOOOOOOLE!!!!!!!!!

  2. MikeD says:

    I’ll be paying attention to all names pretty much outside the top ten. As we saw last year, there will be some interesting names that will drop much lower than we’ll expect. With a deeper draft, we may see it happen even more this year.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Agreed. They take these shots fairly often anyway, but without the #31 pick the Yankees might be even more receptive to trying to buy a signability guy.

  3. Jericho Spade says:

    Is there a chance Purke falls to the Yanks?

    • Jake H says:

      yes but it would have to be bad medical info. Always a chance Rays gamble with one of their picks on him

    • Doubt it. He may fall out of the first round, but some team will definitely take a chance in the supplemental round. You are dealing with the Jays twice, the Red Sox twice, the team that formerly drafted him in the Rangers, the Rays, Nationals, etc.. those teams will spend, I bet he falls to one of them and gets picked up.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Definitely very possible he gets taken in the top 50 even with questionable medicals, but also possible that he sees the shoulder things as short-term while teams are concerned and prefers to go back to school if he’s not getting top 5 money. Even then I suppose a team could try or the Rays could just throw a pick at him to send him back to school and keep him from getting to the Yankees.

        Teams don’t have to think he’s a bad pick or that huge a risk, though, to just all happen to prefer using their pick(s) elsewhere in a deep class.

  4. Johnny O says:

    How bad is bursitis? Doesn’t sound that bad. Purke’s talent + bursitis > anyone else likely available at #51

  5. Pat D says:

    Regarding Purke, in his chat last week, KLaw also said that bursitis is to torn labrum as forearm tightness is to torn elbow ligament.

    He also said he wouldn’t take Purke in the 20′s, but nobody asked about taking him around 51.

    • Gonzo says:

      Without medicals, this nothing but a hunch. I wouldn’t take him at 51 if he’s still there.

      Why go uncertainty + big $ in this draft. If he does well in the summer he’s going to want Ranaudo+ $. And you still have a shoulder injury looming. If he sucks in the summer, you wasted your top pick in a historic draft.

      Might depend on their budget too.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I can see two scenarios where Purke is still there:
        1. His arm is shot or there’s a high enough chance that it’s shot that no one wants to touch him.
        2. His medicals are somewhat inconclusive, and the top 50 teams are using the draft logic that you suggest: rather than roll the dice and spend a ton on Purke, they go with a safer prospect who they also like. Purke having made it perfectly clear that he’ll go back to TCU if he doesn’t get $X.

        In case 1, the Yankees are probably wise to stay away. Maybe their medical team has a different view than others and they’re willing to roll the dice, but even there you probably wait till later in the draft.

        In case 2, though, there’s a decent chance he makes sense to the Yankees. All depends who else is on the board, of course. Given their financial might and lack of an earlier pick, the Yankees might be in a position where after adjusting for injury and bonus… Purke is still #1 on their board. Whereas a smaller market team and/or a team paying out multiple 1st round bonuses might weight Purke’s talent and injury risk equally, but pass on him because his bonus demands make another prospect more attractive.

        • Gonzo says:

          I can see that. However, rolling the dice on a shoulder injury is much more risky than rolling on an elbow (Brackman, Joba).

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Yeah, it would take a situation where the Yankees don’t think the injury risk is more than marginal. If the injury risk is too great, his expected return will be lower than other guys who don’t have the injury risk.

            • Gonzo says:

              To me, if the injury risk were marginal, the Yankees would have to be one of a few teams that believes it to be for them to get him. If the Rays, Jays, Nats, and Sox thought the injury risk were marginal, I could see them snathcing Purke before 51.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                I’m not saying that he will be available at #51. I am just saying that he might. More so than just about any other consensus top 5-10 talent. And if he is, then it might be that he’s too risky to take and pay. I’m just saying that situations may occur where he is there and the Yankees want to take and sign him. The Yankees will eventually draft someone at #51. I have no idea who that will be. Just commenting on the situations that would have to arise for that #51 pick to be Purke.

                • Gonzo says:

                  Oh ok. I am not saying he will or will not be available either. I am not saying they should or should not take him if he’s available either. I am just offering my opinion on the subject.

                  You also have to consider the fact that Purke may not be a consensus top 5-10 pick anymore.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    I didn’t say top 5-10 pick. I said top 5-10 talent. He’s not a consensus top 5-10 pick if he falls to #51.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      My bad, you’re right. I wouldn’t pick him if he fell. I just don’t think he’s a consensus top 10 talent, becasue of injury, if he falls. Gut call.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      If all your medical people told you his shoulder was fine, and all the noise you were hearing was that after the top 10 or so his big bonus demands were just scaring teams away, and you didn’t have anyone else on your board you really loved… you just don’t sign Purke because you think other teams are smarter than you?

                      By that logic you shouldn’t take any big bonus/signability guys late, because obviously other teams are smarter and knew something that you didn’t.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Um no, I am saying that if he falls to 51, the Yankees will have a similar opinion of him as other teams do. If they have different opinion, they will draft him.

                      I actually said.
                      “To me, if the injury risk were marginal, the Yankees would have to be one of a few teams that believes it to be for them to get him.”

        • Gonzo says:

          As for the budget, the Yankees spent $6,652,500 in 2010, $7,564,500 in 2009, and $5,122,000 in 2008. Roughly $6.5mm avg. They might increase it this year, but I can’t say that for certain.

          If Purke is headed towards a Ranaudo type contract $2.5mm+, he would eat up roughly 40% of their average budget for the last 3 years.

          That’s a lot of your budget riding on a questionable shoulder.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Again, it comes down to expected return. When you decide whether or not to make an investment, you consider what you expect the return to be. You try to factor risk into that, and obviously factor the sum you are investing. My point is not that if the Yankees think Purke’s shoulder is a major risk they should invest in him. It’s that if they think even after accounting for whatever uncertainty is there with the shoulder and whatever his bonus demands are expected to be his expected return is still higher than anyone else on the board, they take him. And Purke is a top 5, top 10 talent… so the possible return is there if the shoulder is only a marginal concern. If he goes back to TCU and proves the shoulder thing is nothing… they Yankees are very, very unlikely to get a chance to draft him, $2.5 mill bonus or not.

            There’s no reason to think that they couldn’t spend $7.5 mill like 2009, in my opinion. And if they see the value there, I could certainly see them spending more. It’s a sunk cost now, but if Cashman wanted to keep the #31 pick he was planning to spend $1 mill+ there. Between #31 and #51 the Yankees could spend basically the money they expected to spend, and possible emerge with a better prospect than they ever expected to get at either spot.

            And with only 2 picks in the top 100, where else are they really going to spend their money in the draft? Guys like Dellin (254) and Mason Williams (145) who fall are generally commanding $1 mill bonuses max.

            • Gonzo says:

              My point is that if the risk is assessed as minimal, then a bigger spender like the Sox or Jays would snatch him at 51. If he is available at 51, I think his risk assessment would be more than just marginal.

              Of course, that’s not based on anything solid. I agree if they find the value at 51 to take him, take him. I am saying that I don’t think they will find value at 51 to draft him if he’s there.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Yeah, I don’t think the chances are that great a situation emerges where Purke is there and makes sense to take… but compared to other consensus top 5 or 10 talents, the chances are huge. It just takes one high value type falling who the Yankees like.

                Teams might just all stay away in a draft where there is a lot of depth. There’s no orchestration in the draft, and every team on it’s own might just keep making the decision that player x is a better pick than Purke 50 times… whereas there may be no player x for the Yankees.

                If you’re worried that the Yankees–with 1 top 87 pick and 2 top 117 picks–are not going to have the money to allocate towards Purke, the same could be even more true for the Red Sox (19, 26, 36, and 40) or Jays (21, 35, 46). (Though they don’t have to sign him to take him to gain leverage with other picks, hedge against not signing others, and screw the Yankees.) Again, a risk that makes sense for one team might not make sense for another.

                • Gonzo says:

                  I can see the Sox taking a similar approach to their one last year. It was quite successful too. They went slot with their first two picks then started taking overslot picks like Ranaudo, Coyle, and Cechhini. I could also see the Rays and Jays taking a page from their playbook. That way they can spread the risk in a way the Yanks can’t.

                  Last year the Sox and Jays also outspent the Yankees by $4mm and ~$5mm, respectively. Having 20-25% invested in an injury risk is different than having ~40% invested. Just my opinion.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    Again, I could see a lot of things happening. There is no way to decide exactly what players will go exactly where this far before the draft (or even the say before the draft), so I don’t see why we have to do that. The Sox, Jays, and Rays and everyone else can do whatever they please. They might take Purke. They might not. Relative to other consensus top 10 talents, Purke is a whole lot more likely to be on the board #51 from the little information I have. That’s it. That’s all. Nothing more.

                    “Last year the Sox and Jays also outspent the Yankees by $4mm and ~$5mm, respectively.”

                    This is not last year, is it? In both 2009 and 2008 the Jays spent under $5 mill. In 2009 the Red Sox spent less than the Yankees.

                    We all know that if the Yankees feel like throwing money around in the draft they can. If they see the value there in terms of expected return, I don’t think they’ll hesitate. Especially not in a heralded draft class where they’ve lost one of their top 2 picks.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      The Jays were under different management in ’09 and ’08. AA has made it very clear he is out to spend big in the draft and IFA.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Also, on avg. ther Red sox have outspent the Yanks ~$3mm for the past 3 years. The Yankeed spent the most in the last 3 years in ’09 and the Sox the least.

                      We don’t know what any team will do. All I am doing is looking at past actions and putting them into perspective of this year.

                      I could have said anybody could spend anything, but what would be the point.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      “I could have said anybody could spend anything, but what would be the point.”

                      Acting like the Yankees can’t spend $2.5 mill on a draft pick they think is worth $2.5 mill is foolish. This is not any team. This is the richest team by far. The Yankees gave Gary Sanchez $3 mill. They gave Andrew Brackman $3.55 mill. They gave Contreras $6 mill. They gave Irabu $8.5 mill. They gave Wily Mo Pena $2.44 mill way back in 1999.

                      Everything in their history suggests they will pay a prospect if they think he’s worth it. Whether that will be the case with Purke or not… I have no idea.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      I am not saying the Yankees can’t or won’t spend $2.5mm on a pick. I never said that.

  6. Gonzo says:

    I would love to see the Yanks continue with drafting prep players early like last year.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      How come?

      • YanksFan says:

        Maybe easier to get them before they develop or continue their bad habits? Get them set in the Yankee Way of doing things?

      • Gonzo says:

        I feel like the great college crop is puishing back some prep talent.

        More importantly, it might be the last time the Yanks can offer these prep kids overslot $.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          I definitely think there’s a good chance to find (what the Yankees feel is) an undervalued HS talent at #51 (I’m thinking Josh Bell… Boras could purposely push him down the board with bonus demands, and the Yankees might go for a pure hitter without too much defensive upside). However, I think they should just look for value and not get too formulaic about taking prep or college players.

          • Gonzo says:

            Oh totally, I just think that this year the value is in prep players. That is, next year’s draft may be a zero-sum game, therefore, normalizing returns.

            Most don’t see Josh Bell making it out of the 1st round. They say multiple teams are eying him for their 1st round pick.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              “I just think that this year the value is in prep players.”

              We’ll have to see how things unfold. There’s a lot of college talent, so I could see a good college player falling too.

              “That is, next year’s draft may be a zero-sum game, therefore, normalizing returns.”

              Hard slotting might also be accompanied by the ability to trade draft picks and/or making guys commit to entering the draft…

              “Most don’t see Josh Bell making it out of the 1st round.”

              Yeah, but Scott Boras is not “most…” This is a guy who puts his top 3 picks into Independent ball if he doesn’t get his money. If he senses that the Yankees are high on Bell and willing to pay him more than any other team, I have faith he will make him fall. Not that he’ll necessarily see that or be willing to take that big of a risk on one team.

              Point is not really Bell in particular, though, just whoever. As a Boras advisee who doesn’t have much defensive value, I could just see teams balking on a big bonus.

              • Gonzo says:

                Sure, but I still think that this year’s value is in prep players. Can a top college player fall to them, of course. That’s why I said I would like to take prep players early and not just with the 51st pick. They would be stupid not to take what’s given to them. I am just stating how I think the draft will play out.

                Trading picks and making a decision on entering the draft prior to the draft has no bearing on my statement of normalizing returns.

                I’m willing to bet money that Josh Bell doesn’t fall to the Yankees if you like. Of course, barring injury or anything crazy.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  “Trading picks and making a decision on entering the draft prior to the draft has no bearing on my statement of normalizing returns.”

                  I ignored that statement because I really didn’t want to get into it.

                  Trading picks absolutely does. Even if returns were to be normalized at each draft spot, good teams like the Yankees might have easier rather than harder access to top talents. Just as the Knicks bought a pick off the Lakers to draft Toney Douglas, teams might decide to sell their picks if it’s allowed (or effectively sell their picks by packaging them with veteran contracts they don’t want to pay). A small market team might decide to trade down because they don’t want to be locked into a big $ slot.

                  Returns would tend more towards a pick-adjusted norm than under the current system, but they would still vary widely every season. The NBA has hard slotting, and that doesn’t mean the best long-term NBA player goes #1 every season, the second best #2, and so on. You have #1 overall busts and undrafted All-Stars. MLB teams have to consider even more factors and project further into the future than NBA teams, so I think you’d still have plenty of steals in the draft.

                  The MLB draft isn’t that much of a free for all right now, anyway. The best players still tend to go earlier in the draft, even if some guys fall on bonus demands. It would change the game a little, but the hard-slot $s would presumably fall in such a way that the top guys would still go early and if they weren’t compelled to commit to entering, HS and underclass guys would simply not sign.

                  With hard slotting Cito Culver still would have been there for the Yankees last season. A top prep player this season (comparable to a Cole in 2008) who thinks in 3 years he’ll be a top 3-10 pick would still benefit from going to college and getting himself up into those higher slots than taking $1 mill to sign this season.

                  Things would change, but I don’t think it would be as radical as you imply.

                  “I’m willing to bet money that Josh Bell doesn’t fall to the Yankees if you like.”

                  I’m not saying that I know Josh Bell will be there for the Yankees. We’re talking about high value guys who ****might**** fall to the Yankees. If you’re talking about a consensus top 10 (Purke), top 20 (Josh Bell) talent being there at #51, obviously the chances are against it. If I had to put money one way or the other, I would also say he’s not going to be there. That’s the point. Who shouldn’t be there that will be there? That could be the guy the Yankees take, like with Cole just to give one obvious example. Any Scott Boras advisee/client, in my opinion, is more likely to be there than any non-Boras advisee/client. He’s the kind of guy who would see the position the Yankees are in and try to capitalize by making sure his guy is by far the best player on the board and getting paid. Because that’s what Scott Boras does, he gets paid.

                  • Gonzo says:

                    With deciding prior to the draft, yes, it has no bearing on normalizing returns.

                    With trading, you just have more variables which you are not accounting for right now. I really don’t want to get inot the nitty gritty, but you have then account for what was received in a trade when you consider ultimate value. It can get very tricky like in the NFL draft.

                    With your NBA comparison, you are taking the exception to prove the rule. Normalizing doesn’t mean exacting. Yes, sometimes players slip, however, if you take the negotiation, you are taking out the slip because of $$$. You are saying they slipped because of percieved value and talent only.

                    With a decision prior to the draft and hard slotting, would Castellanos, Allie, Ranaudo, etc… have slid in the draft? Would their talent instead of their talent and unknown pricetag dictated their position. I sure think so. Would that have normalized the draft in terms of talent distribution? I sure think so.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      “With deciding prior to the draft, yes, it has no bearing on normalizing returns.”

                      Yes it would. They’re all tied together and it’s hard to separate each one, but I’ll do it anyway.

                      If there is mandatory commitment to entering or staying out of the draft… you’re in or you’re out. If you want to play MLB baseball at some point in your life, it’s going to be for the team that drafts you.

                      Without hard slotting, if you’re in you can’t threaten to go to/back to school as leverage to get a higher bonus. Your only real threat is another profession or just playing Boras style chicken with Indy-ball, Japan, etc. The team now has more leverage there, though, because they can say “screw off, if you want to play MLB baseball some day we’ll see you then. You gotta go through us.”

                      If there’s hard slotting, there’s no negotiating. You play for that team or you don’t. There’s no reason for a team not to take the top player on their board, because he has no choice but to sign with them for $X. With the hard slotting and without the mandatory entrance, HS and underclassman can just not sign: “You drafted me #12 and the bonus is $X? Well I think I’ll go #1 in 3 years/next year, so I’m going to/back to college. Smell you later.”

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Well, it’s my assumption, and maybe it’s wrong, that if you have to decide in or out there would be repurcussions to not signing.

                      If you have to decide to enter or not and still decide not to sign, how is it different than what we have now?

                      I don’t know what the repurcussions would be, but if there aren’t any, then you haven’t really changed the draft.

                      I would imagagine, and this is just a guess, that a team would hold your rights for some X amount of years after they picked you if you refuse to sign.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      “With trading, you just have more variables which you are not accounting for right now.”

                      I’m not saying there wouldn’t be. MLB is not 100% comparable to either NFL or NBA. However, there is definitely a chance that the Yankees could use their financial might to get picks they currently have zero chance of getting. A-Rod/David Price/Strasburg/Harper is on the board, and the Yankees are shit out of luck. He’s gone #1. They could decide that moving up to get that guy is worth $10 mill to them, though, and go get him. They could give up prospects they don’t think are worth it, but the other team does.

                      It’s not that the Yankees and other playoff teams will necessarily have easy access to top 15 picks. I just said that they’ll have access. How they use that access is up to them. Some will blow it, some will capitalize. Most will likely have mixed results. Right now they have no access whatsoever.

                      “With your NBA comparison, you are taking the exception to prove the rule.”

                      No. The returns in the NBA draft are quite variable. Just like they are in IFA, an MLB example. I know damn well what normalizing means. I can list dozens and dozens of lottery busts and non-lottery steals. It’s not the exception.

                      “With a decision prior to the draft and hard slotting, would Castellanos, Allie, Ranaudo, etc… have slid in the draft?”

                      Wait, wait, wait… You just said that a decision prior to the draft has nothing to do with it. Literally just said that. Can’t have it both ways. Totally contradicting yourself here.

                      “Would that have normalized the draft in terms of talent distribution? I sure think so.”

                      You are the one pointing to the exception. By and large the MLB draft is still normalized. Even with no hard slotting, you can still historically expect more from a top 5, top 10 pick than a mid-first, than a late-first, than a 2nd, than a 3rd… You are talking about the exceptions who fall. Right now teams are taking the best talents in the top 5, top 10 and just paying them. It’s a few guys who weren’t good enough to go that high but have talent on which opinion is somewhat split over or is raw that one team decides to pay.

                      And again, a hard slotting draft still has plenty of steals. The NBA draft has steals, and there aren’t 75 rounds in the NBA draft or hundreds of players under control of each NBA team. There will be steals. The NFL draft doesn’t have hard slotting, but has de facto slotting and again there are plenty of steals.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      “Well, it’s my assumption, and maybe it’s wrong, that if you have to decide in or out there would be repurcussions to not signing.”

                      I have no idea where you’re coming from. That’s exactly what I said. That if you have to decide… you’re in or out. If you’re in, you have no choice but to sign with the team that drafts you or not play MLB baseball.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Sorry, “With deciding prior to the draft, yes, it has no bearing on normalizing returns.” It came out funny. It contradicted a later statement because I meant it in a different way.

                      I don’t mean that at all. In fact, I believe it will help normalize the draft.

                      I think we may disagree on what the #1 pick willl be paid. You say closer to $10mm. I say closer to the actual MLB recommended slot of $4mm for the 1st pick. The Nats could still trade the pick but only take what they perceive 1-1 player value.

                      What you have to consider is that the players that slip aren’t top 10, or even 1st round talent. Most of the slippage in the MLB draft comes from 2-5 round talent that wants to be paid like 1st round talent. These guys on average are not going to be as good as those perceived to be better. However, they serve value, and that value is going to teams that pay overslot.

                      I totally agree, that talent slips, and this will not change that. All I am saying is that they won’t slip because of money. Is that odd?

                    • Gonzo says:

                      What I am saying is thay hard slotting and/or prior entrance determination, will help narmalize the draft more.

                      With all this back and forth, I don’t know what you are saying. Are you agreeing or disagreeing?

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      You’ve said it has no bearing a couple of times: “Trading picks and making a decision on entering the draft prior to the draft has no bearing on my statement of normalizing returns.”

                      “I think we may disagree on what the #1 pick willl be paid. You say closer to $10mm.”

                      I just meant that the Yankees might give the #1 team $10 mill in cash to trade picks. This team would now have $10 mill plus save money on their #1 pick. A team like the nationals trying to spend some $ and rebuild probably doesn’t go for this. A poorly run or just poor team might. I don’t know the exact situation, I’m just saying that now teams like the Yankees who previously had no access to these amateurs like A-Rod or Harper would have access.

                      “What you have to consider is that the players that slip aren’t top 10, or even 1st round talent. Most of the slippage in the MLB draft comes from 2-5 round talent that wants to be paid like 1st round talent.”

                      You are really confusing me… This is a point that I’ve been making. That it’s not like consensus top 5, top 10 picks are falling right now.

                      Let’s go back to the original arguments. Your argument is that the time to strike is now, presumably because HS players will want to sign now in the 2011 draft before they are tied into slotting. My point is that these kids are getting above slot now because they can hold out and say they will just go to college if you don’t pay them. They have to then wait 2 or usually 3 years. They can become a top NCAA player in the meantime and build value… or not, but some guys like Cole believe they will do that and are willing to take the risk. These guys will still have this threat this season, and some will feel their interests are better served by carrying through with it than signing for what they think is so far below their market value that a 3 year wait is worth it.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      You’re confused?!?!

                      I just meant that the Yankees might give the #1 team $10 mill in cash to trade picks.

                      This won’t happen. Otehrwise, why don’t the Yankees just offer $20mm for top prospects right now? Bud wouldn’t allow it at all.

                      My point is that these kids are getting above slot now because they can hold out and say they will just go to college if you don’t pay them. They have to then wait 2 or usually 3 years. They can become a top NCAA player in the meantime and build value…

                      Totally agree. However, the argument three years ago was tough when a ballplayer like Zach Lee could sign for $5mm in the back end of the first round.

                      I believe the agents and prep players will do the math and say, I can get ~$1mm this year or absolutely have to be in the top 15 to get over $1.5mm in a hard slotted draft in the next few years. And if I want to get over $2mm, I have to be in the top 8 best amatuer players in the US. If you discount for future value, then it’s tougher to say no. That’s all I am saying.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Didn’t get to this yesterday, but the players association is not going to just cave on a hard-slotting draft with MLB slot recommendations. They are going to want to look at how much teams are actually spending on picks, not how much MLB (in whose interest it is to keep these salaries as low as possible) recommends. Bonuses are unlikely to suddenly go down drastically in a new draft format. Agents and the players association will hate that. Owners would probably have to concede some serious stuff to get them to swallow that crappy pill.

                      There will probably be a limit, but teams can include cash in deals now and will probably continue to do so if draft picks are tradable. They can also make lopsided trades where the poor team dumps an albatross contract on a rich team, which is basically just swapping the money. Say KC decides to save money in the draft and has a Gil Meche or Jose Guillen type of crap contract… Meche or Guillen would basically act as the financial exchange in a trade. KC could get cash consideration,

                      Also, teams don’t sell prospects to the Yankees because prospects are cheap, team controlled assets which can provide a ton of surplus to their team. A first round pick who has never played a pro inning, though, is a lot less certain than a AAA top 5 prospect. Strasburg and Harper might never be offered to the Yankees, but they might be able to trade up from the 30-ish spot to a much higher spot with $ alone, or in combo with a package. Again, my point was that they would now have access to players they didn’t before. And Boras could even start devising tactics to make sure undesirable teams (maybe teams who take it slow with prospects, don’t buy guys out of their arb years… whatever) trade a pick rather than taking his prospect. My point is just that a lot of the same factors will be in play. The draft won’t suddenly conform to a set pattern if the rules are changed.

                    • Ted Nelson says:

                      Basically, it’s unlikely that the owners get not only hard-slotting, but a hard-slotting system that screws draft picks with bonuses well below what they were getting before.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      The MLBPA doesn’t care that much for draft picks because most of them are not members yet. How many of the 50 rounds of players are immediately member of the MLBPA? It’s not like football.

                      This is not, and was not the point of my statement however.

                      It is my belief that the draft would be closer to normalization under any of the scenarios that you have dreamed up. I see nothing that you’ve written that changes my mind.

                      You keep dreaming up trading of picks and cash, however, that doesn’t change that a good player will be drafted based on perceived talent vs. perceived talent and financial demands.

                    • Gonzo says:

                      Ok, let’s go back to my simple question. I think prior decision and/or hard slotting will better normalize the draft.

                      Do you agree or disagree?

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