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MLB draft lottery: A’s fall to No. 6 after second-worst record in Majors

By Laurence Miedema

The A’s will add the No. 6 overall pick in this spring’s amateur draft to their current rebuilding plans.

MLB held its first-ever draft lottery on Tuesday night during a made-for-TV announcement, and the A’s, despite having the second-worst record in the Majors last season and sharing the best odds of any team, failed to land the top pick.

That will go to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had the same chance of picking first overall as the A’s.

The A’s, Nationals (who had the worst record in the majors) and Pirates each had a 16.5 percent chance of picking first. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati had identical records, but the Pirates were slotted third because they had a worse record than the Reds in 2021.

The Giants had a .48 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick and will select from the No. 16 spot.

The lottery, similar to what the NBA and NHL use, included teams that failed to reach the postseason and didn’t forfeit their first-round pick, such as for signing a qualified free agent.

Despite missing out on their first No 1 overall pick since the initial draft in 1965, picking sixth overall is some consultation for the A’s. They are coming off their second 100-loss season in Oakland franchise history, have a stadium battle and potential relocation hanging over their heads and are facing a significant on-field rebuilding project. They were assured of getting no worse than the No. 8 overall pick.

Baseball adopted the lottery last spring as part of the lockout settlement in an attempt to keep teams from “tanking” to get the first overall pick.

This is the second time a Bay Area team was denied the first pick because of the introduction of a draft lottery. The Warriors had the worst record in NBA during the 1984-85 season and would have taken Patrick Ewing with the first pick. But they fell to seventh and the final spot in the lottery. It wasn’t all bad, considering they took Hall of Famer Chris Mullin with that pick.

This will be the 20th time the A’s have had a Top-10 pick in the 55 seasons in Oakland. It’s the first time since 2018, when they took Oklahoma two-way star Kyler Murray but were unable to persuade the current Arizona Cardinals quarterback to play baseball.

Some of the A’s biggest stars of the Moneyball era were Top-10 picks – Eric Chavez (10th overall in 1996), Mark Mulder (No. 2 in 1998) and Barry Zito (No. 9 in 1999).

Heading into the spring, the Big 3 on most mock draftboards are LSU outfielder Dylan Crews, Tennessee right-hander Chase Dollander and Mississippi shortstop Jacob Gonzalez.

The draft appears to be top-heavy in shortstops and outfielders, two areas where the A’s could use more dynamic depth.

The only time the A’s had the No. 1 overall pick was for the first MLB draft, in 1965, when the team was based in Kansas City and selected Arizona State outfielder Rick Monday.

Source: Paradise Post