Making sense of the new draft rules as made in the recently ratified Collective Bargaining Agreement is no easy task, and several key questions will still need to be answered. Not all of the new rules will kick in immediately in relationship to the 2012 draft, but there are already plenty of changes to the way that compensation picks are awarded from what we have seen in recent years.
Here is what we do know:
• The draft will be conducted Monday through Wednesday, June 4-6.
• The draft will be reduced from 50 to 40 rounds.
• The signing deadline will be Friday, July 13 at 5:00 p.m. EST.
• Teams cannot sign draftees to Major League contracts.
• Team can continue to spread out bonuses to two-sport athletes over five years, although the entire bonus given will count towards the draft pool of the year they were selected.
• Each pick in the top 10 rounds will be assigned a value, and each team will be allotted a draft pool of the combined values of the picks they possess in the top 10 rounds.
• If a team does not sign a player within the top 10 rounds, they lose the value of that selection and can not use that money to sign another player.
• Teams cannot use money from the pre-determined draft pool on players taken after the 10th round.
• Any pick taken after the 10th round can sign for up to $100,000 and not count towards the pre-determined draft pool.
• Teams do not have to adhere to the pre-determined slot value, but the overall amount they spend on the picks taken within the top 10 rounds must not exceed their pre-determined draft pool if they don't wished to be penalized.
• Teams that exceed their draft pool will be penalized as follows:
0-5% excess of pool: 75% tax on overage
5-10% excess of pool: 75% tax on overage plus the loss of the team's first-round pick the subsequent draft
10-15% excess of pool: 100% tax on overage plus the loss of the team's first and second-round picks in the subsequent draft
15% + excess of pool: 100% tax on overage plus the loss of the team's next two first-round picks
• The tax collected will be spread out to teams that qualify for revenue sharing and do not exceed their own draft pool.
• Picks lost through the penalty process will be awarded to teams by lottery. The teams with the worst win percentage and lowest revenues from the previous year have the best chance of winning these picks.
• Starting with the 2013 draft, there will be a Competitive Balance Lottery in which six picks are awarded to teams immediately following the first and second rounds.
10 teams with the lowest revenues from the previous year and 10 teams from the smallest markets will be given the opportunity to be awarded one of the six picks following the first rounds. The team's reverse winning percentage from the previous year will increase their odds of winnings.
The teams that aren't awarded a pick, as well any other teams that received money from the revenue sharing plan, will be entered into the lottery for the six picks after the second around, again, with reverse winning percentage increasing the team's chance of receiving a pick.
The teams awarded these picks will be able to trade these picks, only during the season, and may not trade the picks for money unless the money is used to off-set the salary of a player received in said trade (with MLB's approval).
• If a player drafted in the top 10 rounds fails his physical and receives an offer from the team that drafted him for 40% or less than his pre-determined slot value, the player can elect to become a free agent. The team that drafted the player loses the value of that slot from their draft pool.
• The top 200 prospects will be subject to drug testing and a medical program. Details of these processes have yet to be determined.
• Starting in the 2012-13 offseason, free agents will no longer be classified by type nor will they be ranked by the Elias Sports Bureau. Compensation picks for the 2013 draft will be given to teams that offer, and subsequently lose a player to free agency, a one-year contract that is equivalent to the top 125 players in the game.
• Players must have spent the entire season with the team they finished playing with the previous season to be eligible for compensation.
• A team that signs players eligible for compensation forfeits their first-round pick if they were among the top 20 teams in baseball the previous year based on winning percentage. The teams that finished with the 10 worst winning percentages the previous year do no forfeit their first pick in the draft if they sign a free agent eligible for compensation. These teams would forfeit the next pick they possess, meaning it may not necessarily be the team's second-round selection.
This is where things gets tricky. We know things will change next offseason, affecting the 2013 draft, and since there have already been a few changes to the status of free agents this offseason as detailed below, it is still unclear if the free agent compensation process will continue, for the most part, as it has in recent years.
• Some players with a Type A or B ranking this offseason have had their compensation changed. Other than Jonathan Papelbon, who signed with the Phillies prior to the arbitration deadline (and the announcement of the new CBA), only six players will cost their signing team a draft pick:
Prince Fielder (signed with the Tigers)
David Ortiz (accepted arbitration from the Red Sox)
Albert Pujols (signed with the Angels)
Jose Reyes (signed with the Marlins)
Jimmy Rollins (re-signed with the Phillies)
C.J. Wilson (signed with the Angels)
• Additionally, six players have been designated as modified free agents. Teams will not lose a draft pick when signing any of these players, but the teams that lose the players will receive compensation comparable to what they received under the old draft rules (including the pick just before the team that signed the player):
Heath Bell (signed with the Marlins)
Michael Cuddyer (signed with the Rockies)
Kelly Johnson (accepted arbitration)
Ryan Madson (signed with the Reds)
Josh Willingham (signed with the Twins)
Francisco Rodriguez (accepted arbitration)
For instance, since the Marlins have already signed Heath Bell, the Padres will receive the pick just ahead of the Marlins' second-round selection, as well as a supplemental first-round pick.
• Five players previously ranked as Type A free agents (Matt Capps, Francisco Cordero, Octavio Dotel, Ramon Hernandez and Darren Oliver) will now be treated as Type B free agents.
Here is how the current draft order stands, factoring in the projected Type A and B free agents, most of whom will likely sign with other teams. I call this a 'worst-case' scenario, showing how long the supplemental first-round could be. In doing this I'm assuming that the compensation process, since it hasn't been completely changed yet, will be the same as past year's in which Type A compensation picks are awarded first, in reverse order of 2011 winning percentages (the worst team that loses a Type A free agent gets the highest pick in the sandwich round). Compensation is then awarded to teams losing Type B free agents. For instances in which teams have multiple free agents of a specific type (either Type A or B), a pick is awarded once, cycling through all teams in reverse order of their 2011 winning percentages, before additional compensation picks are awarded.
It needs to be determined if there will be a difference in compensation between the Type A and modified Type A free agents. For now I have lumped all of the Type A free agents together in regards to how the picks are distributed.
The money amounts in parenthesis are the projected pre-determined values expected to be assigned to the top 10 picks by Major League Baseball.
Click here for the original raw draft order.
1. Astros ($7.2M)
2. Twins ($6.2M)
3. Mariners ($5.2M)
4. Orioles ($4.2M)
5. Royals ($3.5M)
6. Cubs ($3.2M)
7. Padres ($3.0M)
8. Pirates ($2.9M)
9. Marlins ($2.8M)
10. Rockies ($2.7M)
13. White Sox
17. Blue Jays
19. Cardinals (from Angels for Albert Pujols)
22. Blue Jays (for unsigned 2011 first-round pick Tyler Beede)
24. Red Sox
27. Brewers (from Tigers for Prince Fielder)
31. Red Sox (from Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon)
Supplemental First Round:
32. Twins (for Michael Cuddyer)
33. Padres (for Heath Bell)
34. Athletics (for Josh Willingham)
35. Mets (for Jose Reyes)
36. Cardinals (for Albert Pujols)
37. Red Sox (for Jonathan Papelbon)
38. Brewers (for Prince Fielder)
39. Rangers (for C.J. Wilson)
40. Phillies (for Ryan Madson)
41. Astros (for Clint Barmes)
42. Twins (for Jason Kubel)
43. Cubs (for Aramis Ramirez)
44. Padres (for Aaron Harang)
45. Pirates (for Ryan Doumit)
46. Rockies (for Mark Ellis)
47. Athletics (for David DeJesus)
48. White Sox (for Mark Buehrle)
49. Reds (for Ramon Hernandez)
50. Blue Jays (for Frank Francisco)
51. Dodgers (for Rod Barajas)
52. Cardinals (for Octavio Dotel)
53. Rangers (for Darren Oliver)
54. Phillies (for Raul Ibanez)
55. Padres (for unsigned 2011 supplemental first-round pick Brett Austin)
56. Cubs (for Carlos Pena)
57. Pirates (for Derrek Lee)
58. Reds (for Francisco Cordero)
59. Blue Jays (for Jon Rauch)
60. Cardinals (for Edwin Jackson)
61. Blue Jays (for Jose Molina)
63. Athletics (Willingham)
71. Padres (Heath Bell)
72. Mets (from Marlins for Jose Reyes)
73. Twins (Cuddyer)
77. White Sox
78. Phillies (Ryan Madson)
82. Blue Jays
84. Rangers (Wilson)
88. Red Sox
89. Yankees (for unsigned 2011 second-round pick Sam Stafford)
109. White Sox
113. Blue Jays
119. Red Sox
Supplemental Third Round:
127. Mariners (for unsigned 2011 third-round pick Kevin Cron)
128. Marlins (for unsigned 2011 t third-round pick Connor Barron)
129. Rockies (for unsigned 2011 third-round pick Peter O’Brien)
142. White Sox
146. Blue Jays
152. Red Sox
To determine round-by-round picks for each team past the fourth round, add 30 for each round to the team's fourth-round overall pick.
Here is a list of the free agents eligible for the free agent compensation process and their respective Elias Sports Bureau ranking (which still applies for the 2012 draft):
Type A Free Agents:
Albert Pujols, 95.500 (signed with the Angels)
Prince Fielder, 91.200 (signed with the Tigers)
C.J. Wilson, 90.988 (signed with the Angels)
Jonathan Papelbon, 80.292 (signed with the Phillies)
Jose Reyes, 77.249 (signed with the Marlins)
Modified Type A Free Agents:
Ryan Madson, 82.948 (signed with the Reds)
Heath Bell, 81.437 (signed with the Marlins)
Michael Cuddyer, 77.671 (signed with the Rockies
Josh Willingham, 77.534 (signed with the Twins)
Type B Free Agents:
Ramon Hernandez, 78.947 (modified, signed with the Rockies)
Darren Oliver, 72.880 (modified, signed with the Blue Jays)
Aramis Ramirez, 71.978 (signed with the Brewers)
Mark Ellis, 71.429 (signed with the Dodgers)
Octavio Dotel, 70.922 (modified, signed with the Tigers)
Rod Barajas, 70.489 (signed with the Pirates)
Mark Buehrle, 68.508 (signed with the Marlins)
Francisco Cordero, 68.486 (modified) (signed with the Blue Jays)
Jason Kubel, 68.219 (signed with the Diamondbacks)
Frank Francisco, 68.211 (signed with the Mets)
Raul Ibanez, 68.022 (signed with the Yankees)
Ryan Doumit, 67,857 (signed with the Twins)
David DeJesus, 64.384 (signed with the Cubs)
Derrek Lee, 64.000
Edwin Jackson, 63.154 (signed with the Nationals)
Jon Rauch, 61.083 (signed with the Mets)
Dan Wheeler, 60.905 (signed minor league deal with the Indians)
Aaron Harang, 60.294 (signed with the Dodgers)
Jose Molina, 59,586 (signed with the Rays)
Carlos Pena, 59.200 (signed with the Rays)
Clint Barmes, 55.556 (signed with the Pirates)
Free agent Elias rankings courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors.
Please be sure to check back to this story as changes to the draft order are made due to free agent signings.