The Tigers will receive an extra draft choice after the second round in next year's amateur draft, thanks to a special lottery known as the "competitive balance lottery" that was held today by major league baseball. According to MLB Draft on twitter, the Tigers will receive the sixth and final supplemental pick in round B of the draft, following the second round.
It gets better. The CBA provides that these supplemental picks can be traded, unlike other amateur draft choices in baseball. Further, because of the dramatically reduced number of supplemental picks that had previously been a part of the MLB draft in recent years, a supplemental B round pick should wind up being equal to about a mid to late second round pick in recent years.
Under the old CBA, there were about one full round's worth, 30 compensation picks, give or take a couple, each year, and those selections were made between the first and second rounds. The Tigers used two of those supplemental picks in the 2010 draft to take Nick Castellanos and Chance Ruffin. Detroit received those two compensatory selections because they lost Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon as free agents. Those are two examples of supplemental picks that would not be awarded under the new rules.
One of the lesser publicized changes in the new collective bargaining agreement provides for a competitive balance lottery in which twelve clubs will receive supplemental draft picks, six each after the first two rounds in the annual June amateur player draft. MLB.com's Jason Beck explained the process this way.
The picks are divided into two groups -- six picks at the end of the first round, six more at the end of the second. The first group of picks are given out among teams with the 10 smallest markets or 10 lowest revenues. That includes 13 teams: D-backs, Orioles, Indians, Royals, A's, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers and Cardinals.
Six of those 13 teams will end up with a pick. The other seven teams will enter the lottery for the second group of picks. By rule, teams who receive revenue sharing money and aren't located among the top 15 markets are also added to that mix. Only one team qualifies this year under those rules: Detroit barely falls outside the top 15 markets, but it does, and the Tigers received a little bit of revenue sharing money last year.
Don't be surprised if there is some backlash against Detroit, with the fifth highest payroll in MLB, receiving a competitive balance pick, while the Tampa Bay Rays, for example, do not. If the Tigers want to trade their new "lottery pick", they may do so any time between Thursday, and the end of the season.