Gennaro: One reason to love the new CBA

From SABR President Vince Gennaro at Diamond Dollars on August 2, 2012:

The amateur draft has been around since 1965, when the Oakland Athletics drafted Rick Monday as the first overall pick. The draft debuted before free agency, so its initial purpose was simple: funnel exclusive negotiating rights for the best amateur talent to the worst performing teams to prevent the Yankees and other teams that had significant resources, from grabbing all the talented young amateurs. Once free agency emerged and player salaries began to escalate, the draft served an additional purpose—it provided a source of low cost talent to teams during the six years of control. Teams could draft and develop talent and benefit from their services for 2 or 3 years at a price near the major league minimum salary, followed by the player’s arbitration years at some level of discount to their free agent market value. But as free agency grew and players’ salaries escalated the draft morphed. Instead of delivering the top talent to teams with the worst record, it favored teams that allowed players to leave via free agency, through compensation picks.

If we take a close look at the draft slots of teams at opposite ends of the MLB food chain—the Pirates and Royals (low revenue/poor performing teams) versus the Red Sox (high revenue/high performing team)—we may be surprised at what we learn.

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Originally published: August 2, 2012. Last Updated: August 2, 2012.