• Will Rays Draft Of 2011 Be Bad News For The Yanks In 2013?

    Posted by on January 24th, 2011 · Comments (15)

    Steve Melewski writes about all the early draft picks the Rays have this year:

    Did you see all the draft picks that Tampa Bay will have in June?

    Counting the first round and the supplemental round after that, the Rays will make 10 picks before the second round and 12 through round two.

    That is a massive haul that someone figured out would have taken nine million in bonuses to sign just those players last year using the slot numbers for those individual picks.

    While Tampa does not have a pick until the 24th overall selection, which they got for losing Carl Crawford, they also will select 31st and 32nd in round one. Three times they will have back-to-back picks during those 12 selections.

    For an organization that has been stellar in scouting and player development, this could set up the Rays for long-term success despite the players it lost this winter.

    Reminds me of when the A’s had nine picks within the first 98 players chosen back in 2002.

    Assuming that Tampa does better with their picks than Oakland did in the Moneyball draft, and considering that the Yankees roster is going to have some serious baggage in 2013, this could be future bad news in Yankeeland.

    Comments on Will Rays Draft Of 2011 Be Bad News For The Yanks In 2013?

    1. Corey Italiano
      January 24th, 2011 | 6:58 pm

      One thing I take notice out of this is that in your post from back in the day, you wrote that Swisher was about a C+ prospect. We got a ton of C+ prospect according to this (http://www.minorleagueball.com/2011/1/7/1921427/john-sickels-farm-system-rankings). I’m not saying that they will amount to anything, just saying that ya never know.

    2. Corey Italiano
      January 24th, 2011 | 6:58 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      you wrote that Swisher was about a C+ prospect.

      * acording to Sickels

    3. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 7:49 pm

      The Jays have a good number of picks too.

    4. Evan3457
      January 24th, 2011 | 8:44 pm

      Very few of these picks will be ready for the majors 2 years after being drafted; probably no more than 1 or 2.

      Most will not be ready until 2015 at the earliest.

      The reason is the Rays can’t afford to sign that many college level prospects who already mature; those guys cost much more to sign than the average prospect.

    5. 77yankees
      January 24th, 2011 | 9:05 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Most will not be ready until 2015 at the earliest.

      Which means the best ones will be Yankees by say, 2021?

    6. KPOcala
      January 24th, 2011 | 10:31 pm

      Steve, lots of “ifs”, no?

    7. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 11:23 pm

      The fact that they are not making a pick until #24 is big. If you look at the history of the first round, from selection #24 on, there are many more misses than hits. It really is a crapshoot so I am not overly worried.

    8. MJ Recanati
      January 25th, 2011 | 9:11 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Very few of these picks will be ready for the majors 2 years after being drafted; probably no more than 1 or 2.

      I don’t agree. College players — especially college bats — can be ready in two seasons, for sure. Just look at Pedro Alvarez, Evan Longoria or Buster Posey, as examples.

      With this many picks, Tampa will take a good mix of college and HS players, not just pure high-ceiling guys but guys that they can mix into the roster as soon as possible.

    9. MJ Recanati
      January 25th, 2011 | 9:13 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The reason is the Rays can’t afford to sign that many college level prospects who already mature; those guys cost much more to sign than the average prospect.

      Considering their payroll will have dropped by around 35-45% from 2010 to 2011, it’s safe to assume that some of that savings will be spent in the draft. The Rays have paid monster bonuses to guys like Tim Beckham and David Price in recent years so there’s certainly evidence to support the fact that the Rays are not at all shy about investing heavily in the draft.

    10. MJ Recanati
      January 25th, 2011 | 9:36 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      [C]onsidering that the Yankees roster is going to have some serious baggage in 2013, this could be future bad news in Yankeeland.

      In fairness, this could be future bad news for the Red Sox too. The Yankees are currently committed to $123.9M for six players (Rodriguez, Sabathia, Teixeira, Burnett, Jeter and Soriano) on their 40-man roster.

      Soriano, as we know, can be a free agent after the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Obviously, then, if he opts out of his contract, the Yankees would have commitments of $109.9M to five players.

      The Rex Sox are currently committed to $77.5M (Beckett, Lackey, Crawford, Lester, Pedroia and (MiLB prospect) Jose Iglesias)for six players on their 40-man roster.

      Considering the Adrian Gonzalez contract hasn’t been finalized, this figure for the Red Sox doesn’t include the widely-reported 7Y/$154M contract extension that their new first baseman will receive. Although we don’t know how the deal will be structured, if we simply take the average annual value ($22M) and tack that onto the Red Sox total in 2013, that brings them up to $97.5M for seven players.

      Thus, if Soriano stays with the Yankees:

      NYY: $123.9M for six players
      BOS: $97.5M for seven players

      And if Soriano leaves:

      NYY: $109.9M for five players
      BOS: $97.5M for seven players

      I’m not seeing how the Rays bounty of draft picks in 2011 will only adversely impact the Yankees in 2013 and not the Red Sox. The two AL East giants are similarly financially leveraged for between 20-28% of their active 25-man roster. And since we know that the Yankees can afford to spend a bit more than Boston can, I’d argue the two teams are in exactly the same position.

    11. Raf
      January 25th, 2011 | 10:14 am

      Also don’t discount the possibility that a big contract is moved.

    12. MJ Recanati
      January 25th, 2011 | 10:23 am

      Raf wrote:

      Also don’t discount the possibility that a big contract is moved.

      Agreed.

    13. Evan3457
      January 25th, 2011 | 11:20 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:Very few of these picks will be ready for the majors 2 years after being drafted; probably no more than 1 or 2.I don’t agree. College players — especially college bats — can be ready in two seasons, for sure. Just look at Pedro Alvarez, Evan Longoria or Buster Posey, as examples.With this many picks, Tampa will take a good mix of college and HS players, not just pure high-ceiling guys but guys that they can mix into the roster as soon as possible.

      That’s right; a mix of college and high school players. The high school will not be major league ready until 2015, unless the Rays get unusually lucky with a pick.

      Of the college players, let’s say 4-6, picking from #24 down, perhaps 3 or 4 might make the majors in 2013, but no more than 1 or 2 will be impact players from the start, the other 2-3 are likely to be relievers, #4-5 type starters, bench players, or, if they’re capable of being put in the starting lineup, they’ll be guys like Brignac or Jaso; nice players, but not better than average, if that good.

      The Rays won’t be drafting more than one Gerrit Cole types who’ll want huge contracts ($5-10 million) to sign, because that’ll blow 1/3 to 1/2 of their budget, and they’ll want to sign as many as possible. Any they draft but don’t sign are of no concern to anyone.

    14. MJ Recanati
      January 25th, 2011 | 12:01 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      I agree with your breakdown. But, if taken a step further, imagine what that means in 2013:

      According to Cots Baseball Contracts data for the Rays (http://tinyurl.com/63yg7xf), they’re committed to $12.2M for three players (Zobrist, Longoria and (MiLB prospect/IFA) Leslie Anderson) on their current 40-man roster. This doesn’t include the three arbitration-eligible players (Niemann, Sonnanstine, Johnson) that will also be under their control in 2013. Let’s figure only Niemann sticks around (the other two are clearly expendable). Let’s further figure that Niemann will be earning somewhere between $3-5M in that, his second arbitration-eligible, 2013 season. So we’re up to between $15-17M for four players.

      The Rays can probably sustain a payroll of around $70-75M based on their past two seasons at $63.3M and $72.8M, respectively.

      If they add in three or four MLB-ready players via the draft this year that debut in 2013 and assume that they’ll be of the reliever/back-end starter/solid regular caliber, we’re talking about maybe a $2-3M total investment, assuming league-minimum salaries (not including draft bonuses which don’t count for payroll purposes). We’re now at around $17-20M for seven or eight players.

      With between $40-50M to spend on the remainder of their 25-man roster, I can’t see how the Rays won’t be dangerous in 2013. Even if they’re only spending $20-30M on the rest of their 25-man roster, we’re talking about a very good team.

      The value in drafting MLB-ready players is simply that you get to plug them in at minimum cost with half the development time of a regular minor leaguer. It’s why guys like Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy (in the past) and guys like Adam Warren and Tommy Kahnle (coming soon to the Bronx) are so valuable, even if they can be so unsexy.

    15. MJ Recanati
      January 25th, 2011 | 12:03 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      It’s why guys like Joba Chamberlain are so valuable

      Yes, you read that correctly. I said Chamberlain is valuable to the Yankees. I hate his guts, I think he’s a lazy pig and I’m afraid he’ll never achieve his true ceiling, but I think there’s still a lot of value to having a semi-effective and semi-reliable relief pitcher at the price we’re paying him. In a couple of years his value will erode completely. But, for now, the Yanks are better with him in the 7th inning role than without him, given what he earns and what his occasional flashes of talent demonstrate.

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