First MLB Draft Lottery to take place today

Even some of the most ardent baseball fans may not realize it, but Major League Baseball's version of the Draft Lottery takes place today. In their world, it's called the Competitive Balance Lottery.

Your favorite team may be gaining a draft pick today. Of course, if you're a fan of teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers or Phillies, well just carry on about your business; no extra draft picks for you!

When the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was hammered out, one of the new provisions was something called the Competitive Balance Lottery. The CBA's CBL was designed to give small market, low revenue teams some extra help by awarding them extra draft picks through a lottery system.

The ten smallest market teams and the ten lowest revenue teams all have a shot at one of six extra draft picks which will be slotted right behind the compensation picks that follow the first round. The odds of winning one of the draft picks are weighted based on the record of each team from the previous season.

Since some of the lowest market teams are also among the lowest revenue teams, the number is actually dropped down to 13 teams - the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Indians, Royals, A's, Pirates, Padres, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Brewers and Cardinals all fit the profile for draft picks. Yes, the World Champion Cardinals have a shot at an extra draft pick.

The seven teams that don't get a pick after the first round will go into another lottery for one of the six extra picks that will follow the second round. Plus, teams that aren't among the top 15 markets and receive revenue sharing money, are added to the lottery at that point. This year, only one team qualifies; the Detroit Tigers. Again, the lottery is weighted to give teams with the worst record a better chance at getting a pick.

So, if you're not a fan of one of the teams in the lottery, you might think "so what?", right?

Perhaps you should be interested though, because another wrinkle allows these draft picks to be traded. That's right, draft picks can be traded. Of course, there are some limitations - kind of like those quirky, speedy little voices you hear at the end of a car commercial.

The limitations read like this. Picks can be traded starting on Thursday, but can only be traded during the remainder of the regular season or during the regular season in 2013 prior to the June Draft. You can't re-trade a pick. In other words, if the A's are awarded a pick and trade it to the Giants, then San Francisco can not use that pick as part of another deal. Also, you can't sell picks for cash, they can only be traded.

The Draft will take place at 1:00 p.m. Eastern today and the results will be announced on the MLB Network during The Rundown.

So, happy Inaugural Competitive Balance Lottery Day!

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