MLB Lottery: Pirates Get First Pick in 2023 Draft, Follow Nationals, Tigers, Rangers, Twins

The Pittsburgh Pirates won the first draft lottery in Major League Baseball history, which was held Tuesday night at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Pittsburgh now holds the No. 1 ranking six times. The Pirates have previously used the #1 pick on Jeff King (1986), Kris Benson (1996), Bryan Bullington (2002), Gerrit Cole (2011), and Henry Davis (2021).

MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed on the final off-season draft lottery, one of several new measures designed to combat anti-competitive (i.e., breakdown) behavior in the new collective bargaining agreement. The first six draft picks are determined by a lottery, although the 18 non-postseason teams have a chance at the No. 1 pick.

These were the possibilities for pick #1:

The first six selections are determined by lottery, and then the remaining non-postseason teams are determined in reverse order of this year’s standings. Postseason teams are then ranked by finish (Wild Card Series pick before Division Series losers, Division Series losers pick before Championship Series losers, etc.). Here is the 2023 Amateur Draft Standings:

1. Buccaneer (62-100, lottery winner)
2- Citizens (55-107)
3 – The Tigers (66-96)
4- Rangers (68-94)
5. Twins (78-84)
6- Athletics (60-102)

7. Reds (62-100)
8. The Royal Family (65-97)
9. Rockies (68-94)
10- Marlins (69-93)
11. Angels (73-89).
12- Diamondbacks (74-88)
13. Cubs (74-88)
14. Red Sox (78-84)
15. White Sox (81-81)
16. Giants (81-81)
17. Orioles (83-79)
18. Brewers (86-76)

19. Rays (Wild Card Series loser, revenue share received, 86-76 in 2022)
20. Blue Jays (losing Wild Card Series, no revenue sharing, 92-70 in 2022)
21. Cardinals (losing Wild Card Series, no revenue sharing, 93-69 in 2022)
22. Mets (losing Wild Card Series, paid revenue sharing, 101-61 in 2022)

23. Mariners (Division Series loser, revenue share received, 90-72 in 2022)
24- The Guardians (Division Series loser, earned to share revenue, 92-70 in 2022)
25. Braves (loser of Division Series, earned to share revenue, 101-61 in 2022)
26. Dodgers (Division Series loser, revenue sharing paid, 111-51 in 2022)

27. Padres (losing championship series, earned to share revenue, 89-73 in 2022)
28. Yankees (Championship Series loser, shared revenue paid, 99-63 in 2022)

29 Phillies (loser of the World Series)
30. Astros (World Series winner)

The Pirates are the big winners with a #1 finish, while the Twins advanced from #13 all the way to #5 thanks to the lottery. That shocked the Reds, who had the third-worst record in baseball, out of the top six. The Athletics team moved back from second to sixth. The Nationals had the worst record in baseball in 2022 and will have the #2 spot.

Notably, the Mets and Dodgers will drop their first-round pick 10 points next year because they exceeded the competitive $230 million tax threshold by at least $40 million in 2022. The Mets will pick No. 32 instead of No. 22, and the Dodgers will pick the 36th instead of the 26th.

The 2023 MLB Draft will take place during the All-Star break next year in Seattle. Here’s an early look at the best possibilities out there.

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