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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Where the Pirates Pick and What They Might Have Available to Spend in the 2015 MLB Draft

Late last night, Chris Cotillo reported that the San Diego Padres had agreed to a four-year deal with James Shields.

The side effect to this deal is that the MLB draft order is now set. Shields was the final free agent to sign who was eligible for draft pick compensation. The Padres had an unprotected pick in the first round, forfeiting the 13th overall selection in this deal. As a result, everyone from picks 14-33 moved up a spot. That grouping including two picks by the Pittsburgh Pirates, who will end up picking 19th and 32nd overall in the first round. The 19th overall pick is their original first round pick, and the 32nd overall pick is the selection they received for losing Russell Martin.

The Pirates also pick 62nd overall in the second round, 96th overall in the third round, and then select every 30 picks in rounds 4-10, starting with pick number 127 in the fourth round.

If we use last year’s draft slot values as a guide, the Pirates will have $6,796,200 to spend in the 2015 draft. This assumes that the draft slots will remain the same. That wasn’t the case last year, as the overall prices increased 1.7%. A similar increase this year would give the Pirates $6,911,735 in their bonus pool.

UPDATE: Baseball America projects a 13% increase, which would put the Pirates at $7,692,588.

The price also assumes the Pirates don’t add any additional picks, like they did last year when they traded Bryan Morris for the 39th overall selection a week before the draft.

Last year the Pirates had $7,063,700 to spend in the draft, despite picking 24th and 39th in the first round and the first compensation round. The key difference was that they received a Competitive Balance pick after the second round, giving them 12 picks in the top ten rounds. They were shut out from a Competitive Balance pick this year, meaning their draft pool will be $256,100 lower, despite picking higher with each of their first two selections. If Baseball America’s big projected increase this year turns out to be a more accurate number, then they will have more than their 2014 totals, although that would be entirely due to the prices going up across the board.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


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Scott Kliesen

Why use revenue as the standard for competitive balance? Why not give organizations who have the worst farm system as determined by MLB experts? Or teams with the worst record from previous season? Or some combination of the two for that matter.

Quite honestly, Pirates don’t need a competitive balance pick nearly as much as the organization on the other side of the state, even though they make far more money for their owner.


You are completely missing the point. The comp balance draft is all about revenue.

Scott Kliesen

I realize that Freddy. My point is low revenue teams like Cardinals and Pirates need an extra pick to be more competitive far less than higher revenue teams like Phillies.

Truthfully, the whole welfare mentality in baseball is just stupid. An organisation wins and loses on people, player development, strategy, and application of analytical assessment far more than revenue.


I agree to a point but having 80 mil more to spend or more greatly widens your margin for error over the long haul. The Yankees have made a lot of overspends and mistakes over the last 5,6,7 years and still are over .500 every year because of the talent they can buy. They are an extreme case , I understand. But over a 10,20,30 year span it is a huge advantage. I think the comp picks are a nice way for a well ran team to close the gap a little.

Scott Kliesen

There is certainly legitimacy to your point of money helping a team not be bad for extended periods of time (20 years), however it’s not a perfect world. You know that saying, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% your attitude towards it. That’s how I feel about money in sports.


The Phillies were dominant and had a great system just a few years ago. Talent and strength of front offices fluctuate. Low revenue is permanent. The Cards’ situation is irritating because you are right…they don’t need the pick…but the Cards are where they drew the revenue line when they wrote this up so they benefit from a great front office, great fanbase, and most importantly, winning. Like I said before, the new CBA put the Cards in the wheelhouse. They get the best of both worlds…but the Pirates have the ability to be in a similar position if they keep headed in the direction they are.


What if the Dodgers and Pirates had equal management? Who has an advantage ? The Pirates with 90m to spend or the Dodgers with 250m ?

Scott Kliesen

Let’s say I bought into your theory salary budget was determining factor of a team’s competitiveness, does an extra pick every 2-3 years even it out?

I’m saying too much is made of salary discrepancy between teams. There are more important factors which determine competitiveness. Just look no further than Phillies and Yankees of last season for proof. And neither team can realistically expect to be good anytime soon either.


Scott: You said more than enough in your second paragraph to make a CBP ridiculous for the Phillies in 2015. But, in the spirit of brotherly love, we make Vance Worley, Jeff Locke, Mel Rojas, Jr., JaCoby Jones, and our #32 CBP available for Cole Hamels.

Scott Kliesen

I think the Competitive Balance picks system should be scrapped completely. It was a dumb idea at conception, and remains as such. As evidence, I point to fact Cardinals were selected to receive one this year. As if they aren’t “competitive.”

As for Hamels trade, Phillies won’t accept that deal. It will cost much more. I doubt Pirates will be a serious suitor for his services if and when he is traded later this season.


Scott: Take a look at their projected Rotation in 2015 – two guys 37 and one 33. In order to rebuild, they need to infuse some younger SP’s with years of reasonable control. Worley/Locke are a combined 45-41, 3.85 ERA in 134 MLB Starts, and both have 4 years of control. Rojas, Jr is capable of moving into that OF instead of a 33 year old rickety Grady Sizemore. If Amaro wants to set for rebuilding, this is a good offer for them. They cut about $19 mil, and the Pirates add $19 mil.


Why reward ineptitude?


Exactly NMR. Teams that scout, draft, develop talent poorly…you could give them 10 extra picks and they would most likely blow most of them. Littlefield did it for years.

Scott Kliesen

It’s called “competitive balance pick.”


Scott: The Phillies may be unique, but a team with $180 mil in player salaries does not need a #30 -something pick in the following year’s draft. Total mismanagement by the FO of some excellent resources – attendance, TV, etc.


The bottom ten teams in revenue should receive a comp. pick.


pb: It makes sense – they need some sort of edge. Of course, some committee would have to oversee the process so that teams like the Pirates of the Revenue Sharing years, do not just put that edge in the pocket of the owner. If I am not mistaken, the Pirates are not in the bottom 10.


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