The Orioles and 12 other major league teams have a chance to add a pick in next June's First-Year Player draft today when baseball holds its first Competitive Balance Lottery this afternoon.
The lottery, scheduled to take place at 1:30 p.m. in New York, is a mechanism designed to help teams perceived to need the most assistance by awarding extra draft picks to some of them. The 10 smallest-market teams and 10 lowest-revenue teams will have the chance to win one of six extra selections in the 2013 draft.
Those half-dozen picks will be made at the conclusion of the first round, following the compensation selections. Because there is obvious crossover between those two groups, there are 13 teams entered into the first-round lottery: the D-backs, Orioles, Indians, Royals, A's, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers and Cardinals.
The odds of winning a pick will be based on each team's winning percentage in the previous season.
There will be a second group of six picks, to be made after the conclusion of the second round. The teams from the first group that did not get one of the early picks will be re-entered, along with any other major league team that receives revenue sharing. This year, only one team, the Tigers, will be added to the second lottery. The Competitive Balance Lottery winners and the order of their picks will be unveiled on MLB Network's "The Rundown" at 2:45 p.m. this afternoon.
Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich said the O's have a good chance to get one of the top picks awarded today.
"I don't know the exact numbers, but I believe we have the highest percentage chance of getting one of all the clubs," Rajsich said. "Our chances are the highest because they are weighted. We have the best chance of getting one of the best picks, but that doesn't guarantee we'll get one at all. It just means we have the best chance."
Rajsich estimated that the six teams awarded the picks after the first-round next June will have selections that will turn out to be likely among the first 50 pick in that draft.
"There were some good players taken in the 40s this year," he said.
A team can only gain one pick through this lottery. The Orioles will be represented today in New York by Bill Wilkes, an assistant in the baseball operations department.
Also, these competitive lottery picks will become the first draft picks that can be traded. They can be dealt just once though and the team acquiring one of the picks cannot trade it again.
"They have to be traded during the regular season," Rajsich said. "So they can be traded from tomorrow (Wednesday) through the end of this season and then from opening day next year until the draft," Rajsich said.
So these picks cannot be dealt during the offseason or say, during the Winter Meetings. Some people in baseball think we may see some of the picks used as possible trade bait during the next few weeks in trade deadline deals.
Click here to read more about this draft.