By going 85-77 this year, the Yankees hold the 18th overall pick in next summer’s draft. They finished with the same record as the Orioles, but because Baltimore had the worse record last season, they get the 17th pick while New York gets the 18th. The full draft order is right here, and note that tonight’s tiebreaker game between the Rays and Rangers is technically a regular season game, so the 22nd and 23rd picks could flip.
Slot money for the 18th overall pick was $2,109,900 this year, and the slots are expected to increase in 2014. The Yankees haven’t picked this high since taking C.J. Henry with the 17th pick in 2005. That was compensation from the Phillies for Jon Lieber (!), not their natural pick. The Bombers could end up forfeiting their first rounder to sign a qualified free agent (Brian McCann?
Matt Garza? Ervin Santana?), of course, and they could also add picks by losing their own qualified free agents (Hiroki Kuroda? Robinson Cano?). It’s still too early to know exactly how deep the draft class is, but there are always quality players available at 18.