Baltimore Orioles: Could the Team Punt on a Draft Pick?
With nothing happening in the MLB with the exception of the draft, rumors about draft – and possibly the Baltimore Orioles – abound.
One of those rumors is about a team with a top-10 pick, and that includes the Baltimore Orioles – who have a coveted #2 choice.
With the Orioles history with scouting, developing, and trading, there’s a chance they could be the team doing the punting.
The rumor comes via R.J. Anderson with CBS Sports:
Apparently, the rumor has been floating around for a while according to J.J. Cooper with Baseball America. Anderson’s tweet brought the news into the mainstream. While it seems silly to not sign a player in this draft that is filled with talent, Cooper explained the choice this way:
"“[S]ome unnamed team or teams will look to sign players, but at far below slot value to save money.”"
Doesn’t this sound like the Orioles?
The other reason a team might “punt” on the draft is to get a higher pick in the 2021 draft. If the team is already picking in the top 10, they’re already in the bottom third of the league. Many of them have serious weaknesses that will continue into 2020, which would earn them top 10 picks in the 2021 draft.
The 2020 draft top-10 picks goes to these teams in this order:
- Detroit Tigers
- Miami Marlins
- Kansas City Royals
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Seattle Mariners
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- San Diego Padres
- Colorado Rockies
- Los Angeles Angels
Several of these teams are in the midst of a rebuild, and some seem to be perpetually rebuilding – like the Marlins. The Tigers, Orioles, Marlins, and Pirates are known for having tight pocketbooks. The Angels have spent a fortune recently, so it seems unlikely that they would care about money or a draft pick. It’s tough to imagine the Tigers doing this, but their manager and ownership aren’t what they were five years ago.
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The Blue Jays have a ton of young players, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them get into the middle third of the MLB if the 2020 season gets going. The Rockies are tough to predict, but they’ve got some outstanding veterans. The Mariners are the oddball here, because their manager, Scott Servais, likes to make moves that take fans by surprise.
The Padres are in a similar situation to the Blue Jays. They’ve got notable young players, and a few veterans, too. They could be moving up in the ranks and out of the bottom of the pack soon.
Would you be surprised if the Orioles and Mike Elias did decide to punt the draft to save money? I wouldn’t be. The team is already in 30th place in payroll in the MLB. They don’t seem to be in any hurry to get out of it either. Buying cheap and selling cheap seems to be the way of life for the Orioles under the Angelos regime.