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.
The A’s have had the No. 2 overall pick four times, most recently taking Mulder in 1998. They also had the No. 2 pick in 1966 and selected future Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. They took outfielder Ben Grieve second in 1994, as well as Pete Broberg in 1968, although the right-hander didn’t sign with the A’s.
The A’s No. 1 pick last season was Arizona catcher Daniel Susac with the 19th overall pick. It was the second time in three years the A’s used a first-round pick on a catcher.
Here’s a look at the A’s first-round picks (including supplemental first-rounders) since 2010.
2022 – C Daniel Susac (19th overall pick)2021 – SS Max Muncy (25)2020 – C Tyler Soderstrom (26)2019 – SS Logan Davidson (29)2018 – OF Kyler Murray (9)2017– OF Austin Beck (6)2017 – SS Kevin Merrell (33)2016 – LHP A.J. Puk (6)2016 – RHP Daulton Jeffries (37)2015 – SS Richie Martin (20)2014 – 3B Matt Chapman (25)2013 – OF Billy McKinney (24)2012 – 1B Matt Olson 1B (47)2012 – SS Addison Russell (11)2012 – SS Daniel Robertson (34)2011 – RHP Sonny Gray (18)2010 – OF Michael Choice (10)
Among other teams in the lottery, Cincinnati had a 13.2% chance, followed by Kansas City (10%), Detroit (7.5%), Texas (5.5%), Colorado (3.9%), Miami (2.7%), the Los Angeles Angels (1.85%), Arizona (1.4%), the Chicago Cubs (1.1%), Minnesota (0.9%), Boston (0.8%), the Chicago White Sox (0.6%), the Giants (0.5%), Baltimore (0.4%) and Milwaukee (0.2%).
The A’s have reached a two-year deal with veteran utilityman Jace Peterson, according to FanSided’s Robert Murray.
Peterson, 32, spent parts of the past three seasons with the Brewers, where he played every position except catcher and center field. Peterson could fill the supersub role held by Chad Pinder, who is a free agent and not expected to return. His career slash line is .231/.321/.343. Peterson hit a career-high eight home runs last season in 328 plate appearances.
The A’s also traded pitching prospect Jeff Criswell to the Rockies for right-hander Chad Smith. Criswell, a second-round draft pick in 2020, had a breakout season with 119 strikeouts with a 1.29 WHIP. Smith, 27, made his MLB debut this season and had a 7.50 ERA in 15 appearances but had a 3.03 ERA in Triple-A the past two seasons combined.
Source: Paradise Post