If you’re a normal Yankees fan, you’re already tired as hell of the Boston Red Sox earning three straight playoff berths, going 60-102 the next season for no reason whatsoever, then earning a top-three draft pick for their labor.
It’s messed up. It makes no sense. Boston face plants without Alex Cora and now they have Marcelo Mayer in their farm system? Sure, the MLB Draft is supposed to reward bad teams, but the Red Sox are never bad for more than one consecutive season.
Though MLB wasn’t receptive to my proposal that the Boston Red Sox be banned from the Draft forever, it looks like the next CBA — whenever it arrives — may throw a real wrench into this bizarre Tank Cycle.
According to Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich’s epoch (subscription required) about where the MLBPA and ownership stands at the moment (spoiler alert: very far apart), one thing the two sides can agree on is that a draft lottery is coming.
The particulars haven’t been settled yet. If the owners have their way, it’ll be only the top three teams being juggled. If the players win, it’ll be the top eight.
Considering both sides are on board, you have to believe there’ll be a compromise in the middle at five or six.
Yankees fans might not see MLB Draft tanking as much. The Red Sox could still benefit.
Now, if a team might be tossed down from No. 1 overall to the sixth spot by a ping-pong ball, are we still going to see an all-out race to the bottom in August and September?
It’s … tough to tell. For one thing, you’re still going to really want to get into that top three, five, eight, or whatever, unless there’s some sort of penalty for failing up. The loss of a draft pick? Well, that seems counterintuitive, right? There’s no perfect way to ensure the Red Sox don’t f*** around and find out — especially since they’re never No. 1 Pick Bad, but often find themselves in that four-to-seven range.
Is it possible this system actually makes it more likely they’d hit the lotto in an off year? Perish the thought, but it kind of seems that way.
Plus, people have been whining for years about the NBA Lottery being rigged, from Patrick Ewing’s frozen envelope to the Anthony Davis/LeBron James departure reward picks for the Cavs and Pelicans. You want to see some real drama? Watch the Red Sox beat out the Pirates and Orioles from the eighth spot.
Of course, the real way this might affect the Yankees, Sox, and the rest of the AL East is if the O’s somehow, some way get disincentivized from falling all the way to the top of the draft. If the one punching bag in the division somehow bucks up and decides to chase the proposed incentives that come with making the playoffs as a small-market team (an additional comp pick has been floated), then the East could become even more of a bear than it already is.
Or we could just go with the whole “Ban the Sox from the Draft” plan I mentioned. All in favor?