The Pittsburgh Pirates will make the No. 1 pick in the 2021 Draft after finishing the 2020 regular season with baseball’s worst record. It will be the fifth time in history that the Pirates have selected No. 1 overall and the first since the organization took right-hander Gerrit Cole out of UCLA in 2011. The rest of the Draft order was determined by the reverse order of standings.
The Rangers, after making the No. 14 pick in 2020, will select second in ’21 -- their highest pick since 1974 -- followed by the Tigers (No. 3), who are set to make their fifth Top 10 pick in the last six years. The Red Sox (No. 4) and Orioles (No. 5) round out the top five, and the D-backs, Royals, Rockies, Angels and Mets own picks Nos. 6-10, respectively.
And now that the Competitive Balance rounds are set, we know which teams will have extra picks beyond the first round. Competitive Balance Round A takes place after the first round is over, and Round B is held after the completion of the second round.
Since 2017, Major League Baseball has used a formula that combines revenue, winning percentage and market score to award Draft picks to teams that fall in the bottom 10 in revenue or market size. That first year, six teams received Round A picks and eight clubs got Round B picks. Each subsequent year, the number of picks in the two rounds alternates between six and eight.
The 2021 Round A provides six teams with an additional pick: the Marlins, Tigers, Brewers, Rays, Reds and Twins. The order for Round B -- which will feature eight picks -- will be the Pirates, Orioles, Royals, D-backs, Rockies, Indians, Cardinals and Padres.
The order and current pick numbers for Competitive Balance Rounds A and B are below. But keep in mind that numbers are subject to change based on trades (Competitive Balance round picks can be traded) and free-agent signings of players who rejected a qualifying offer this year.
Based on the presumed widespread interest in this year’s crop of qualifying-offer-rejecting free agents, a shakeup in the ’21 order is likely.
Here are the four free agents who declined a qualifying offer this year and the Draft compensation their 2020 teams stand to receive if the players sign elsewhere:
Reds -- Trevor Bauer: pick between Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A (if Bauer's guaranteed contract is for a total of $50 million or more) or after Competitive Balance Round B (if his contract is for less than $50 million)
Yankees -- DJ LeMahieu: pick after Round 4
Phillies -- J.T. Realmuto: pick after Competitive Balance Round B
Astros -- George Springer: pick after Round 4