Way Too Early Look At the 2017 MLB Draft

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As I continued to stay in my happy place, the baseball world went on and things happened:

The Orioles’ 2017 lineup got a whole lot better on Friday morning, as Baltimore made official the re-signing of outfielder Mark Trumbo to a three-year contract.

This signing had an additional quirk as it was the final transaction involving a player who received a qualifying offer in November.  Two players (Neil Walker, Jeremy Hellickson) accepted the offer, while eight rejected it and ultimately were signed, including Trumbo.  Five of the players have re-signed with their original teams:

We know that three players signed with new teams:

Although the new CBA was ratified in December, the previous draft compensation system is still in place.  This means that the Rockies have surrendered their #11 pick, the Cardinals gave up their #19 pick, and the Indians lost the #27 pick.  The Cubs, originally at #30 in the draft order, now move up 3 spots to #27.  Since the other two teams had poorer regular season records, the Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers will pick first in the compensation round, prior to the Cubs at #30 overall.

The subsequent round is the Competitive Balance Round A, and you can check out the revised draft order here.  As far as I can tell, the new CBA still allows the competitive balance picks (both Rounds A & B) to be traded, so the Cubs could potentially snag another pick or two if they wanted to go that route.  However, we can surmise that the Cubs will at the very least pick at the above-mentioned #27, #30, #67, #105, and then every 30th pick after that.

This is obviously a good thing for the organization, as they were shut out of the first two rounds last year after having signed John Lackey and Jason Heyward.  Keith Law’s latest farm system rankings put the Cubs at #18 in MLB (h/t Bleacher Nation, who isn’t as cheap as I am and paid for an Insider account), and we have (quite predictably, in retrospect!) gotten to the point where the Cubs are too good to take advantage of the normal avenues of talent acquisitions, especially in the new CBA era.  We can use the previous year’s draft slot values as a jumping point, although I’m fairly sure that each slot will go up for 2017:

  • #27    — $2,097,200
  • #30    — $2,003,400
  • #67    — $963,700
  • #105  — $568,400

This is already double what the Cubs had to spend for the entire draft in 2016, and this doesn’t include the slots for the next seven rounds.  With a strong front office and some breathing room with the current core in place for the next few years, the triumvirate of Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and Jason McLeod should be able to stabilize the farm system, which is already solid even if it is no longer as elite as it used to be.  Then again, a system that graduated just about all of the top picks of the last four drafts can’t be all bad.


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About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

2 Replies to “Way Too Early Look At the 2017 MLB Draft”

    • We still have to see the slot amounts, whether the comp balance picks are traded or not, and which prospects rise to the top of the mock draft boards, so it’s a tad too early 😉

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