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This is why the slotting system is stupid

Mar 18, 2010, 11:17 AM EDT

lincecum_090913.jpgPaul Hoynes of the Plain-Dealer has a story I’ve never heard before: the Indians drafted Tim Lincecum in the 42nd round of the 2005 draft.  Ok, I knew that part. He demanded $1 million to sign, which is really high.  The Indians offered $700,000, he said no, and went back to college and the rest is history.  I knew that part too. The part I didn’t know:  Major League Baseball got all kinds of mad at the Indians for even offering the $700,000 because that was above the slot recommendation for the 42nd round.

Lincecum was a well thought-of prospect, but he was coming off a bad sophomore year. The Indians, and a lot of other teams, realized that he’d be pretty good, but were trying to make a value play: get the guy when he’s at his lowest, maybe even when he’s worrying if he had the stuff to make it.  Maybe he jumps at the $700K!  It’s definitely worth a shot, and if it had worked, baseball as a whole would have saved a over a million bucks on what they ended up paying Lincecum when he eventually did sign ($2.025 million with the Giants a year later). Heck, even if they had met Lincecum’s demand they would have saved over a million.

But rather than applaud the effort to buy low, baseball got all pissy at Cleveland in an effort to maintain their misguided and counterproductive slotting system.  Just foolish.

  1. OldNo7 - Mar 18, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Yeah, but Lincecum likes the weed, which is illegal. So he shouldn’t even be allowed in baseball.
    “fronds two”

  2. Chuck - Mar 18, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    But the reason he fell to the 42nd is because he wanted a million $

  3. Joey B - Mar 18, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    The issue with slotting is that it makes the draft look more like the FA market. When the worst team gets the best player, and the best team gets the worst player, we have equilibrium. If the NYY and RS (& I’m a RS fan) are allowed to continually pay out of slot, they will ultimately get all the best players.
    The #18 player will tell all the teams that he wants #10 money. The small market teams might move onto the next player. The NYY and RS can easily draft the guy in the 5th round and pay the guy the extra $1M he wants.

  4. DantesWitness - Mar 18, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    Of course as the small market teams that are presently cleaning up in the Latin American free agent market, that argument goes out the window.

  5. Bagz - Mar 19, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    Weed doesn’t improve performance! It actually hurts it. Drug use should be allowed in all sports. Those that take them will suck and be fired, those that don’t will perform better and get more money. If Lincecum wants to smoke, let him. And if teams want to pay him money, let them. America that land of the FREE!

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