Draft Links: Sabathia, Boras, MLB.com Mock

Injury News: Robertson, Tex, Gardner, Venditte
Game 46: Heavyweights
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

We’re just nine days away from the draft now, so let’s round up the latest news and notes. Make sure you scroll back through our draft archive to make sure you didn’t miss anything, I’ve been posting player profiles, links to mock drafts, and all sorts of other stuff these last few weeks. Here’s the latest…

Sabathia to represent Yankees on Day One

The first day of baseball’s amateur draft will again be broadcast live on MLB Network this year, and the Yankees announced that their representative will be ace CC Sabathia. Apparently he drew the short straw. The Yankees do not have a game that day and Sabathia will be the only active player in attendance. Tino Martinez and Lee Mazzilli have represented New York in recent drafts. The broadcast will cover the first and supplement rounds on Monday, June 4th. The remaining rounds will be conducted via conference call over the following two days.

Scott Boras on the new spending restrictions

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Every team will have their draft spending limited this season — the Yankees can spend just under $4.2M on the top ten rounds — with harsh penalties in place for any overages. Front offices don’t seen very fond of the changes put in place by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement but agents aren’t happy either. The new rules are taking money from their clients (and themselves), after all. Kevin Goldstein spoke to Scott Boras about the changes and the game’s most powerful agents had some suggests for improving the system. You can read the article on either ESPN or Baseball Prospectus, but you need a subscription either way.

First, Boras suggests a five-year spending pool, allowing teams to funnel money from year-to-year as the talent pool varies. “A lot of people won’t like that just because it’s Scott’s idea, but I love it,” said an unnamed GM. “The current system is short-sighted. It takes away individuality and the concept of having competitive advantages though the evaluation of talent.” Boras also suggests that low-revenue teams that win should be rewarded, specifically by being able to spend whatever they want on one pick each year. Goldstein says that it could take years for teams to adjust to the new rules and find the most efficient way to procure talent, though I’m sure some loopholes with pop up along the way.

MLB.com’s Mock Draft

Jonathan Mayo posted his latest mock draft for MLB.com this past week, though that one only goes 20 picks deep. That means the Yankees are left out, but it’s still good to check out just to get an idea of who is projected to go where. Pretty much the only thing that can substantially change draft stock at this point is injury.

Injury News: Robertson, Tex, Gardner, Venditte
Game 46: Heavyweights
  • 28 this year

    I like the 5 year spending pool. Only problem is how do you implement how losing teams get more money since over five years, a lot can change, see Rays 2008.

    • Havok9120

      Before we can address that we’d need to know how big the gap will be between the winningest teams and the losers and how that gap will fluctuate with time. I don’t know enough of the specifics.

      That said, I think the best way to do it would be to force teams to take the risks in the 5 year system. Use their average winning pct over the last 5 seasons (or even of just the previous season played) and multiply it by 5 to give them their draft pool, but then let it update after every season. You a small market team that spent huge in the first 2 years of the draft, then had a couple good years and now you’re over the cap on the 5th year? Penalties for you. Winning team that had a random stinker? Have a big year at the draft to compensate. You’d probably also need to write in a guaranteed minimum that each club would get to spend every year without penalty in order to ensure that the updating spending limits didn’t force a team to have a year without drafting.

      The biggest thing I’d like about that kind of system is that it’d make some perennial losers who draft high also potentially assume some risk and penalty. Right now the CBA comes down way too hard on winning teams.

  • JCK

    I’m confused as to how the current system passed. GMs hate it. It takes money from players and their agents. Was it just small market owners that pushed this through?

    • LiterallyFigurative

      I’d probably say yes.

      The small-market billionaires will try like heck to cut costs, especially with the revenue sharing/luxury tax changes that the new CBA entails.

      • Havok9120

        The Union had to agree to it too. Small market owners can’t be the only constituency to approve a measure for it to make it into the CBA.

    • Havok9120

      It saves money for all owners by keeping the starting salaries down. On the players’ end, I’m sure the Union got its pound of flesh for its current members. There were plenty of things in the new CBA that benefit current players at the expense of future players.

  • RetroRob

    The most recent CBA was yet another win for players. The union feigned concern with the oroposed changes to the amateur draft, but they really didn’t care since they don’t represent amateurs. They knew Selig wanted it so they used it to their advantage. What a gift. They were able to use as leverage a change that they secretly supported.

    It reduces the flexibility of all teams to use the amateur draft as a way to quickly rebuild by focusing a greater amount of resources on amateurs. That change means teams may be forced to spend more money on MLB free agents as a way to rebuild. It’s a win all around for the union and its members.

    • Ted Nelson

      When was the draft ever a quick way to rebuild?

      The same players will be available. They’ll just get less money.