After an eventful week around Birdland with the trades of Jonathan Villar and Dylan Bundy, there is plenty to talk about. Plus the Winter Meetings begin next week in San Diego.
The Orioles added five minor league pitchers in the deals for Villar and Bundy and are expected to make at least one pick in the upcoming Rule 5 draft.
So today, with a lot going on recently, let’s take some reader questions. Ask anything - about the minors or majors, the recent trades or any topic - and I and other readers can share some thoughts and takes.
For some quick and light reading today in this entry, I present an update on the Orioles’ 2020 draft picks. The order could change pending free agent signings of players that received qualifying offers.
But the competitive balance picks for the 2020 draft were announced recently. These picks come after the first round, where the Orioles select this year, and after round two, where the Orioles picked in 2019. In fact, in each year since the competitive balance picks came into play in 2017, the Orioles have gotten one of these picks.
Major League Baseball uses a formula that combines revenue, winning percentage and market to award the picks to teams that fall into the bottom 10 in revenue or market size. So if anyone ever claims the Orioles are a big-market team - and I have no idea why they would, but some have in this blog over the years - show them the CB picks. The O’s have gotten one every year they’ve been around.
This coming year the Orioles have the top competitive balance pick, which is currently No. 31 overall, the first pick after the first round. The O’s first pick in round one will be No. 2 overall next June (they selected catcher Adley Rutschman with the first pick in the first round last year). This will be the first time ever the O’s hold the No. 2 overall pick.
So the Orioles’ current selections are picks No. 2 (in round one), No. 31 (in competitive balance round A), No. 40 (in round two) and No. 76 (in round three). They have four of the top 76 picks, and last year had four of the top 79.
The signing-bonus slots for next year are not set yet. But we can look at the slots for these picks last year. They were:
No. 2 - $7,789,900
No. 31 - $2,312,000
No. 40 - $1,856,700
No. 76 - $818,200
In 2017, the Orioles selected lefty Zac Lowther with competitive balance pick No. 74 overall. In 2018, with pick No. 37, they added infielder Cadyn Grenier, and last year with a competitive balance pick at No. 42 they added prep infielder Gunnar Henderson.
So having that pick in competitive balance round A this year, and having the top pick of the eight in round A, gives the O’s a nice extra pick that is essentially a late first-round pick.
The order of competitive balance round A is with the Orioles, Pirates, Royals, Diamondbacks, Padres, Rockies, Indians and Cardinals getting selections that, as of now, will be picks 31-38. The round B order will be Marlins, Tigers, Rays, Brewers, Reds and Twins. Those picks will be Nos. 68-73.
Competitive balance picks are the only draft picks that can be traded. However, they can only be traded during the season and they can only change hands once.
So with that draft info behind us, what questions do you have today?