The MLB Draft Lottery is not a place any team would like to be. Composed of the 18 teams that did not make the postseason in the previous season, it’s a consolation prize, a consortium of teams who simply were not good enough to get the job done when last presented with the opportunity.
The new lottery system imposed this year is, at least, a way to attempt to stem the wave of mass tanking across the league. Rather than simply dole out the top pick to the team that tried hardest to be terrible, the lottery at least gives chances to a) get lucky with the 1st overall pick even if you did try to win the previous year and just came up short and b) get penalized into picking 6th overall if you had the worst overall record while tanking and didn’t get lucky.
An imperfect answer to an imperfect system, but a step in the right direction, I guess - unless all it does is prolong a team’s tank-job because their tanking didn’t get them a high enough pick to make the difference.
Anyway, the Cincinnati Reds were the owners of the 4th best chance (13.2%) to win the #1 overall pick by way of finishing with the 4th worst overall record last season (62-100). For their efforts, the little bouncy ping-pong balls (or whatever computer simulation) gave them overall pick #7 , which is still cool in a ‘maybe this will turn into a player who’ll dig them out of the endless rebuild’ kind of way but decidedly less-cool when considering where they’d have picked in a pre-lottery world.
In other words, they’re the prototypical team that’s getting punished for being both intentionally bad and unlucky. Welcome to the world of ‘not attempting to compete,’ folks.
As important as the pick itself is the boost that gives to the Reds overall bonus pool, as the higher the 1st round pick, the higher the slot value that gets factored in to the overall pool. Given that the Reds have a Competitive Balance Round A pick in their coffers to play with, they’ll now less overall money to attempt to throw at two high-bonus players than they would have if they picked 4th, as was the pre-lottery odds expectations.
Go Reds, or whatever.