When Mark Trumbo re-upped with the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend, the final free agent with potential draft pick compensation attached to him came off the board. That effectively cemented the order for the 2017 MLB Draft, which Baseball America detailed earlier this morning.
And - if you ignore all the losing that has provided the platform for it - that solidified some good news for the Cincinnati Reds, who own the #2 overall selection.
You’ll remember that the Reds also drafted second overall in 2016, using their selection to take University of Tennesee 3B Nick Senzel. You also might remember that despite not drafting first overall, the Reds had the largest pool of draft money to spend on their picks, largely due to having won the Competitive Balance lottery. Well, this year the Reds didn’t ‘win’ that lottery - that honor and the #31 overall pick goes to the Tampa Bay Rays - but the Reds did finish as runners up, and as a result own the #32 overall pick. And since their 2nd round selection sits at #38 overall, it’s likely the Reds’ overall bonus pool allotment will again be within sniffing distance of the largest in the game.
The Minnesota Twins, for instance, will select 1st overall, 35th overall, and 37th overall, meaning the difference between their likely largest bonus pool and the Reds’ will be the difference between the slot value of the 1st & 2nd picks minus the difference in slot value of the 32nd and 35th picks - theirs will likely be larger, but not by much at all. That means the same kind of strategy the Reds employed last year should be on the table, one where they drafted a guy who was willing to sign below slot value at #2 only to use that savings to overpay for a high school draftee with their next pick to convince him to bypass attending college. That, of course, was Taylor Trammell, who is fresh off a solid first professional campaign and rapidly climbing up prospect rankings.
Pitchers and catchers report in just over three weeks, by the way. It's almost that basebally time again.