The other day I took sometime to listen to the most recent Baseball America podcast on the upcoming MLB Draft. Â They gave an extensive discussion about the changes in the new CBA and afterwards I wasn’t quite as pessimistic as some may have been after the announcement of the new CBA was made.
#1 The Red Sox Rule – Los Angeles Angels get an allotted 1.7M for the first 10 rounds after signing Pujols and CJ Wilson. Â This is a big deal not for what the Yankees have done in past drafts after all they’ve been pretty conservative the last few years but for what the Red Sox have done. Â Boston over the last few years has been a big big spender in the draft despite having a lower picks. Â Just last year after signing a big fish in Carl Crawford via free agency the Red Sox went out and spent over 10 million in the first 10 rounds of the draft, this new CBA will not allow a team like the Sox to continue to dominate both sides. Â In fact it pushes a major advantage towards the Twins who after losing a couple free agents will be given 12+ Million to play with. Â For a team like the Royals loaded with Eric Hosmer and plenty of Scott Boras clients who look to lose out on a few free agents in the coming seasons it will soften the blow a tad.
#2 Teams can still sign guys who want to play – The Royals look to have 3.5M allotted to them in this years draft with the 5th pick. Â How would that compare to last year? Â The #3 pick Trevor Bauer signed for under that as did every pick but seven in last years draft. Â How many of the seven would have passed on pro ball for 3.5M? Â I don’t think many and at that point if they are willing to pass then maybe they weren’t ready to play ball in the minors riding the bus and grinding it out. Â On top of that the Royals will probably be allotted another 3.5M for the other 9 picks in the first 10 rounds. Â The additional money for Brickhouse, Gallagher, Smith, Junis, Binford, Lopez and Leonard last year was $5.5M so more than likely the Royals would have missed out on Bryan Brickhouse but it is very likely that they would have signed the rest of the group. Â That is a pretty solid haul for any draft just in terms of talent and they probably would have saved a tad.
#3 Less money should make college baseball stronger – There will be a few players slip through the cracks, the Bryan Brickhouse of the world will go to college. Â All that means for KC and the rest of the teams is more time to evaluate those players and decide what they are in the long run. Â On top of that if Tyler Beede or Bryan Brickhouse work their ways into Top 5 selections no more do the Royals or any team for that matter have to give them major league contracts. Â Think about how much flexibility that would give a team like the Royals. Â We’ve talked about the stack of prospects the Royals have coming on top of the prospects they currently have in the majors. Â What if Wil Myers is ready this year? Â What if KC drafts Kevin Gausman and he’s ready next year and they don’t have spots for them? Â Well guess what, they aren’t on the 40 man roster nor will they have to be so Kansas City can keep them in the minors and store them there when a spot opens up ala the Rays. Â I just don’t buy that a player can get too much exposure in the minor leagues, ultimately all these players are waiting for that time to shine and if they have to wait an extra year to make it shine they will. Â This was common back in the old days and I doubt you would be able to find real cases of players not making it cause they had to stay an extra year in the minors. Â This is a major advantage for teams like the Rays and Royals who have deep talent bases but won’t be forced into pushing players earlier than needed.
Ultimately the Royals have built their organization around SCOUTING, they’ve hired many top notch scouts and while the budget changes will Â effect them the facts remain they aren’t going to be players now or later in the free agency pool of the game. Â They will have to scout, sign, develop and resign their players to compete and in all of those scenarios they will not be penalized extra. Â In reality the only thing they will be penalized for is WINNING and I think that’s a penalty all Royals fans would care to watch them pay.