Major League Baseball has confirmed that the Detroit Tigers will receive a competitive balance draft pick in the June 2020 amateur player draft. The announcement confirms what many of us had suspected previously.
The pick, currently slotted for No. 69 overall, is subject to change, depending on which teams sign elite free agents to contracts before the next draft begins. As an example, the Arizona Diamondbacks used their Round B selection to take University of Michigan pitcher Tommy Henry in the 2019 draft.
Major League Baseball awards competitive balance draft picks to the 10 teams with the smallest market score, and/or the 10 clubs with the least amount of local revenue. A team can only receive one competitive balance selection. The 14 teams alternate between Round A, which takes place after the first round, and Round B, which is slotted after the second round, on a yearly basis.
Oakland’s loss is Detroit’s gain
Twelve teams in the largest markets are disqualified, regardless of their revenue. The Oakland Athletics, who would be disqualified because of their large television market, were dead last in local revenues, had been specifically exempted from market disqualification, but were being phased out and are now fully disqualified by next year. Detroit will benefit from another slot becoming available as Oakland can not receive the bonus selection. The Tigers may have gotten the extra pick regardless, if their local revenues dropped below other teams on the list.
The Tigers drew the second selection out of six teams in Round B. If Detroit qualifies for a competitive balance selection in 2021, they would receive a pick in Round A. The collective bargaining agreement which sets the criteria for the competitive balance rounds is set to expire after the 2021 season.
Plus over $1 million in extra international bonus money!
In addition to the extra draft pick, Detroit will receive an additional $1,082,900 to spend in international bonus money. The eight teams receiving competitive balance picks in Round A receive an extra $541,000 in international bonus pool money to spend in the next signing period, which begins on July 2, 2020.
Detroit had an international bonus pool in the amount of $5,398,300 for the period of 2019-2020. That amount would increase to $6,481,200, based on the current season’s figures. The Tigers have traditionally spent right up to their bonus limit without making a huge splash on any one individual player in the international market, though they have handed out bigger bonuses to players in recent years.
Competitive balance picks can be traded
Unlike regular draft picks in the Rule 4 amateur draft, competitive balance picks can be traded. Several clubs have chosen to trade their picks, and others have acquired competitive balance round picks via the trade route.
International bonus dollars can also be traded. A club can acquire up to 60 percent of their team’s original bonus pool, meaning that Detroit could potentially inflate their international bonus pool up to $10,369,600.
One final caveat: In the unlikely event that the Tigers were to sign one of the eight free agent players who have received and declined qualifying offers from their current teams, such as Gerrit Cole or Anthony Rendon, Detroit would surrender the newly acquired competitive balance round selection — their third-highest available draft pick. Previously, that would have been their third round selection.