One of AN's favorite discussion topics these days is Orlando Cabrera, and the debate of whether or not he should be pursued to fill the shortstop void.
While Cabrera provides an upgrade over Bobby Crosby, he also comes at the cost of the A's second-round draft pick.
But where exactly IS the A's second-round draft pick?
It's not as high of a pick as you might think.
MLBdraftsite.com predicts the the '09 draft, and reviewing their site provides a few important reminders about the '09 draft:
a.) The first round of the draft will have 33 picks, due to the Nationals, Mariners, and Yankees' failure to sign their first-rounders in '08.
b.) Because of this, the A's have the 13th pick in the first round and the 12th pick in the second round.
c.) The sandwich round between the first and second rounds will probably have between 15 and 20 additional picks, depending upon where the remaining Type A and Type B free agents (who were offered arbitration) end up signing.
That's a smaller comp round than usual. In 2007, for example, there were 34 comp picks.
(The comp round has reduced because many teams were hesitant to offer arbitration to players like Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu this offseason).
What does all that mean for the A's second-round pick?
33 first-round picks + 15-20 comp picks + 11 picks before the A's in the second round = ...
We can expect the A's to pick somewhere between #60 and #65 overall in the second round. According to the slot figures of last year, that pick will cost the A's about $525-550K in signing bonus money.
The A's 13th overall pick will probably cost between $1.6 and $1.7M, while their third rounder (pick #90-95, approximately) will cost about $390K, if they sign according to slot.
So, the A's will either have two picks in the first 100 in next year's draft (#13 and #90ish) if they sign Cabrera, or three picks in the first 100 (#13, #60ish and #90ish) if they don't. The first scenario will cost about $2M in signing bonuses, and the latter scenario will cost about $2.5M in bonuses.
Another thing to consider is that every imaginable Bobby Crosby suitor has dried up. The Padres have signed David Eckstein to play second base, and elected to use internal options at short.
That means that the A's are very likely eating $5.25M of Bobby Crosby for '09, whether he's manning shortstop or not.
So how important is the #60-65 overall pick? Is it valuable enough that the A's shouldn't pursue Cabrera? And knowing that Crosby's $5.25M is a sunk cost, how much should the team be willing to pay for Cabrera?