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The Royals win the competitive balance lottery

Jul 18, 2012, 3:31 PM EDT

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We haven’t talked about it much, but one of the nifty new features of the new collective bargaining agreement is something called the competitive balance lottery. What is the competitive balance lottery? Here’s MLB’s description:

The Competitive Balance Lottery … gives Clubs with the lowest revenues and in the smallest markets the opportunity to obtain additional draft picks through a lottery.  The 10 Clubs with the lowest revenues and the 10 Clubs in the smallest markets were entered into a lottery for the six selections immediately following the first round of the First-Year Player Draft.  The eligible Clubs that did not receive one of the six selections after the first round, and all other payee Clubs under the Revenue Sharing Plan, were entered into a second lottery for the six picks immediately following the second round of the Draft.  A Club’s odds of winning the lottery were based on its prior season’s winning percentage.

And the results:


(Following First Round)

1)   Kansas City Royals

2)   Pittsburgh Pirates

3)   Arizona Diamondbacks

4)   Baltimore Orioles

5)   Cincinnati Reds

6)   Miami Marlins


(Following Second Round)

1)   San Diego Padres

2)   Cleveland Indians

3)   Colorado Rockies

4)   Oakland Athletics

5)   Milwaukee Brewers

6)   Detroit Tigers

These are where the old sandwich picks — the free agent compensation picks — used to be. So, huzzah for the Royals, but it’s not like these alter the balance of power or anything.

  1. poreef - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    I understand that we are talking about the 10 smallest, not small, markets and that market-size is defined in kind of a funny way, but still…

    Miami, Baltimore and the Bay Area are not small markets. The Feesh, the Os and the As may have low attendance numbers but I digress…

  2. The Dangerous Mabry - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Thank goodness we’re helping out the Marlins and Tigers. In their situations, there’s no way they’d ever be able to do anything like sign a premier free agent, for example.

  3. keithbangedyermom - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Yay! Baseball welfare!

  4. nategearhart - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    MORE draft picks?! But more draft picks means more draft bonuses those poor owners have to pay…I feel terrible for them.

  5. rcali - Jul 18, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Congrats, your organizations are underachievers! Here’s some more crappy draft picks that you won’t spend any money to sign.

  6. chill1184 - Jul 18, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    So its going to be at least 4 or 5 years before we even see any positive or negative effects of this draft on MLB as a whole.

  7. rejamaro - Jul 18, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Yeah! We finally won something!

  8. kcredneck - Jul 18, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    If the Royals could only be half as good as the Barbeque.

  9. normcash - Jul 18, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Note the wording: After the first round, the eligible clubs who didn’t win a pick in the first round PLUS
    “all other payee clubs under the Revenue Sharing Plan” are entered in the second round lottery.
    That explains why the Tigers, a large market team with revenues in the upper half (not to mention a high payroll) are on this list. They apparently got a break when the numbers got picked in the second round.

  10. normcash - Jul 18, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    A little more clarity about the Tigers situation: they have the 11th highest revenue and play in
    the 10th largest market (the way MLB defines market size)…BUT they receive revenue sharing
    money (despite a big payroll) because the club carries a high debt load. I’m sure the teams that
    pay the luxury tax must have loved seeing the Tigers sign Fielder!

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 18, 2012 at 6:27 PM

      Almost positive but the luxury tax doesn’t get split amongst the teams, only the revenue sharing does. [Obvious wikipedia caveats apply]

      The luxury tax is separate from revenue sharing, which is a system to balance out the income distribution between large and small market teams by dividing money from merchandise sales and media contracts. The money generated from the luxury tax is not distributed to the rest of the league, as is the case with the NBA, but rather is used for other purposes. The first $5 million is withheld to cover potential refunds, and is contributed to the Industry Growth Fund (IGF) if no refunds are forthcoming. The remaining money is divided as follows: 50% funds player benefits, 25% funds developing baseball in countries without high school baseball, and 25% goes to the IGF.[4]

      • normcash - Jul 18, 2012 at 6:52 PM

        I think you’re probably right. Nonetheless, I’m sure a lot of owners are ticked they’re sharing revenue with the Tigers. On the other hand, the Tigers debt load is largely
        due to financing Comerica Park—80% of the cost was privately financed and there’s something to be said for not building ballparks with taxpayer money.

  11. scapistron - Jul 18, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    you left out the best part ; they can be traded.

    • gammagammahey - Jul 18, 2012 at 6:12 PM

      I’ve never understood why MLB was opposed to allowing draft picks to be traded. An Isiah Thomas-like GM might trade away all of his draft picks for Jason Bay but he could just as easily do the same with prospect players.

    • Steve A - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:21 PM

      Only during the rest of this season and the beginning of next season until the draft, though. Also, they can only be traded by the teams that originally received them via the lottery.

  12. proudlycanadian - Jul 18, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Where is Tampa Bay?

    • Steve A - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:19 PM

      Florida. Haha.

      Seriously, though, they weren’t selected for one of the twelve picks, along with the Cardinals.

  13. hansob - Jul 18, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Geez. MLB is like Oprah with the draft picks.


  14. dirtyharry1971 - Jul 18, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    well the royals should be thrilled about this, i mean look at what all these “sandwich picks” have done for the bluegays? They are moving closer to clinching last place in the AL east thanks to all those sandwiches!!

  15. chumthumper - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Doesn’t matter. Even if the Royals do get a stud, they’ll just trade him off in a coupla years anyway.

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