The MLB Draft starts on Monday. The first and supplemental rounds take place on Monday, and we will be selecting 11th, 34th (Willingham compensation), and 47th (DeJesus). The rest of the draft takes place Tuesday and Wednesday.
The new CBA makes this draft different from previous ones. There is a cap for the first ten rounds set by the commissioner's office. If a team exceeds that cap by less than 5%, there is a monetary penalty. Exceeding it by over 5% will result in the loss of future draft picks.
The A's have 13 picks in the first 10 rounds, their 10 plus 2 for Willingham and one for DeJesus. Their total bonus pool is $8.47 million. Add in the 5% they are allowed to go over without any severe penalty and they can spend about $8,875,000 or so on their first 13 picks. The pool is determined by adding up the "slot value" of all of their picks. For the record, in addition to gaining the 3 compensation picks for letting Willingham and DeJesus walk, those picks also result in an extra $3.5 million or so for our bonus pool, which doesn't necessarily have to be spent on those particular selections. We could hypothetically dip into that $3.5 million to go over slot for a better player at 11. So keep that in mind.
The consensus is that this is a fairly weak draft class as a whole. The players the A's have been most linked to are, in no particular order:
- Addison Russell SS (HS - Florida)
- Lance McCullers Jr. RHP (HS - Florida)
- Joey Gallo 3B (HS - Nevada)
- Richie Shaffer 3B (Clemson University)
- Andrew Heaney LHP (Oklahoma State University)
- Max Fried LHP (HS - Southern California)
You could also hold out hope that Lucas Giolito, possibly the best player in the draft if not for his minor elbow injury that kept him out for much of this year, falls to 11.
In his latest mock draft Friday morning, Keith Law has us taking Joey Gallo at 11, and here's his A's blurb:
Their mix includes prep shortstop Addison Russell, Heaney and McCullers. The A's got compensatory selections in the sandwich and second rounds for their failure to sign Josh Willingham and David DeJesus, and those extra picks allow them to get creative with the signing bonus at this pick. This might be Fried's floor as well.
So, draft on Monday. The most important and exciting time in a front office's year is right now, and with all of our picks in the early rounds, Monday and Tuesday are going to be very, very important days for the A's. Go.