The 2021 MLB Draft will be held next July, and the Oakland A’s have the No. 25 overall pick after posting an excellent record this summer en route to winning their division. However, they’ll have to wait until the second and third rounds to make their next selections, just like all the other rich big-market clubs.
The Competitive Balance Rounds were announced this week, serving as a reminder that the A’s are no longer eligible despite being one of the most notoriously low-budget teams in the sport. Click here for the full CB draft order, including six picks in Round A (after the 1st round) and eight in Round B (after the 2nd round).
The A’s used to get one of these extra picks, designed to provide an extra boost to low-revenue and/or small-market teams. But when they got phased out of the revenue-sharing system in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, they also lost their spot in this section of the draft, beginning in 2020 when their sharing dividend went all the way down to zero.
Normally the A’s would never have been eligible for revenue-sharing in the first place, since the Bay Area isn’t actually a small market — it just feels like one because the Giants hog all the attention and the most lucrative territories. There’s a rule disqualifying clubs from big markets like ours, but Oakland was getting an exception while they sorted out their stadium situation. When that exception ended, yadda yadda yadda they also lost their place in the Competitive Balance Round.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals, Padres, Rockies, and D’Backs all get picks, despite being relatively big spenders. The Cards in particular are Top 10 in payroll just about every year. The Rays and Twins also get picks, despite being two of the best teams in the AL right now.
But as usual, fellow A’s fans, we don’t get to have nice things.