Here's how the new CBA impacts the Draft

March 11th, 2022

The new Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association contains several changes to the Draft, most notably the creation of a lottery for the top six picks.

Beginning in 2023, the first six choices will be determined by lottery rather than by the reverse order of the previous year's standings. The teams with the three worst records from the previous season will have the best chance (16.5 percent each) to get the No. 1 overall pick via the lottery, which will include all 18 non-postseason clubs. The other teams will have declining percentages in reverse order of their records, down to 0.23 percent for the non-playoff club with the highest winning percentage.

Teams that receive revenue-sharing payouts can't receive a lottery pick for more than two years in a row and those that don't can't get a top-six choice in consecutive Drafts. Furthermore, a club that's ineligible for the lottery can't select higher than 10th overall.

The Draft will remain at 20 rounds, and after the first round, the non-postseason teams will choose in reverse order of winning percentage. In all 20 rounds, the playoff clubs will choose in reverse order of their postseason finish (Wild Card losers, Division Series losers, Championship Series loser, World Series loser, World Series winner). Within each of those playoff groups, teams will be sorted by revenue-sharing status and then reverse order of winning percentage.

With six picks, MLB's lottery extends deeper than that of any major U.S. sports league. The NBA's first four choices and the NHL's top two are subject to a lottery, while the NFL has none.

The two sides also have agreed to a rule designed to prevent a situation like we saw last year with the Mets and Kumar Rocker that guarantees any top-300 Draft prospect 75 percent of his assigned pick value as long as he submits to a pre-Draft physical. Last year, the Mets selected Rocker 10th overall and agreed to a $6 million bonus, only to pull their offer when he failed his physical. The top 300 prospects also will be eligible to participate in the second annual Draft Combine.

To discourage service-time manipulation, teams can receive Prospect Promotion Incentive selections after the first round of the Draft or a potential International Draft. If an eligible prospect makes an Opening Day roster, receives a full year of service time in that season and receives sufficient award consideration in any season before qualifying for arbitration while with the same club, the team will get a PPI choice.

If the MLBPA accedes to an International Draft by July 25, Draft-pick compensation for qualified free agents will be eliminated starting with next offseason. Draft-pick compensation has existed in various forms since the advent of free agency in 1976.

The assigned values for each choice in the first 10 rounds will increase for the first time since the 2019 Draft, though the exact details aren't yet known. For players in rounds 11-20, the amount that won't count towards teams' bonus pools rises from $125,000 to $150,000.

The draft-and-follow rule returns, allowing clubs that select players who opt to attend junior college to sign them between the end of their juco season and the beginning of the next year's Draft. Any bonus amount over $225,000 will count toward teams' bonus pools. A similar rule existed before being eliminated with the 2007-11 CBA.