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  1. I think this whole argument is false. First, the premise, that draft pick compensation is meant to compensate for home grown players. That should be proven first, as you seem to rely on it to draw your conclusion that the system is broken.

    I believe the purpose f draft pick compensation was to help depress free agent prices by increasing the cost associated with acquiring them. It’s nit about the reward, it’s about the cost.

    Second, perhaps the contending teams get these picks more because they are willing to trade before the deadline in order to try to win it? They of course get the draft pick but the team who trades the payer has made the decision that they would rather take the offer presented them than the uncertainty of the draft pick.

    This whole argument seems to be a waste of time unless you analyze how the rental teams acquired these players. If a team decides a trade is better than a draft pick, than that team has clearly benefitted.

    What if rental trades became less likely if compensation were removed? Perhaps contenders are more willing to trade for a rental with prospects when the know part of the deal is a first round pick? Perhaps removing that benefit would chill the market?

    I don’t know whether some of my points are even true, but if you’re gong to explore this topic, I think these questions need to be addressed.

    Comment by Noseeum — August 21, 2010 @ 12:27 am

  2. Your penis is a joke.

    Comment by wobatus — August 21, 2010 @ 5:03 am

  3. Dumb. The reward for developing “homegrown talent” is seeing that talent perform at the major league level. Moreover, the compensation system ultimately benefits teams that develop these players but can’t afford to retain their services long-term. I usually enjoy what I read on here, but this “series” is just plain ridiculous.

    “The Royals, Rockies, Phillies, Orioles, Nationals, Marlins, and Astros held three apiece. With the exception of the Phillies and Rockies, those lower teams usually do not field contenders.” – With of course the exception that the Marlins, a notoriously small market team won the World Series’ in ’97 and ’03 due in large part to the returns they got from their firesales and compensatory draft picks. And of course the Rays, who have been one of baseball’s best teams the last three years.

    We’re talking about a multi-billion dollar business here; I think these organizations are all well aware of the time value of money and what a second or third year semi-proven prospect is worth relative to a draft pick.
    No, the system is not perfect. Far from it actually, but this entire piece is way off base. My guess is you wrote this all out one lonely afternoon and broke it up into fourths to make it seem like something special. If you had read any of the comments in parts 1 or 2 you wouldn’t have bothered with the rest, which, by the way, added basically nothing to the premise of the piece.

    Comment by jdsmith84 — August 21, 2010 @ 7:48 am

  4. I could not agree more. The entire point of the system is to allow for teams to get a known return for their FA, which picks clearly are not. Why would they need more compensation for having a guy on their team? What incentive would teams have for trading for guys at the deadline?

    Comment by JS — August 21, 2010 @ 11:18 am

  5. R.J. You are fighting what looks like a losing battle here. You do all this analysis and miss out on one of the most important points in your favor. A GM doesn’t have to trade for the value of the player PLUS the compensation picks if the player being traded is on a rebuilding team. He only has to trade for a value GREATER THAN the compensation picks under the current system for it to be smart for the rebuilding GM to make the trade. Normally, wouldn’t you expect the player’s worth to a contending team to be more than that? I could be wrong, but this would seem like an argument you should have used. Really, I don’t think that just assuming an overhaul is necessary is really smart. You should explain HOW YOU CAN MAKE IT MORE PROFITABLE TO TRADE A TYPE A FREE AGENT. If you say you want competitive balance, then making it MORE worthwhile for the rebuilding team to trade good players because of greater future return seems like a good idea. At this point, until you can convince everyone that the compensation picks DO NOT INCREASE trade value, then your point will continue to be ridiculed. Just trying to be helpful and add my 2 cents.

    Comment by Justin Mosovsky — August 21, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

  6. For teams with deep pockets in most years like the Red Sox, acquiring a rental in a trade where the other team is doing a salary dump and the player will be a Type A FA at the end of the year is essentially a purchase of 2 draft picks + 2 months service. Billy Wagner is a great example, the Red Sox pay his 3.5 million in salary in return for 15 appearances and 2 high round draft picks which required another 3 million in bonuses to sign. This certainly does not help competitive balance.

    This year the Red Sox made a point of going after Scott Downs. Much was made of Torontos high asking price. But Downs salary was reasonable (only 1 million left on the contract), the only reason the Blue Jays would trade him is if they got value equivalent to what 2 high draft picks would yield in a year expected to be a bumper crop. Obviously, the Red Sox were also after the draft picks w/o having to give up a top prospect like Casey Kelley which would have been equivalent value. Now, if Downs had 3.5 million left on his contract instead of 1 million, asking for Casey Kelly would have been excessive.

    Furthermore, given the high cost of signing top draft picks due to teams like the Red Sox which flout MLB guidelines on bonuses, the higher round draft picks are less attractive for smaller market teams and carry more risk of a player not signing and waiting for next year.

    As mentioned by an earlier commenter, compensation picks also serve to depress the FA market which serves the interests of the larger market teams who spend the most on FA.

    The game is rigged for those teams with big pockets.

    Comment by pft — August 22, 2010 @ 1:58 am

  7. One other point assumes that the draft picks are drafted in a strict manner that presumes the order the players are drafted and compensated is from greatest to least.

    As a Twins fan, I think it’s great that they received so many picks for relievers and if they were truly understanding that value of relievers are generally inflated, they could accept the draft picks and consistently receive ample draft picks by letting some of their current relievers reach FA. But their reluctance to pay over slot somewhat limits the value of those picks and they themselves clearly place great value on relief pitching or they don’t overpay for Capps. (who could deliver draft picks?)

    I think your evidence falls short of a convincing conclusion.

    Comment by MC — August 22, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

  8. What if more veterans rework their contract so they can’t get arbitration or whatever it was the Orlando Cabrera did. Or was that Orlando Hudson?

    Comment by joeiq — August 22, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

  9. “This certainly does not help competitive balance.”

    No, what doesn’t help competitive balance is teams having no interest in competing.

    Comment by Rich — August 23, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

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