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Outside the box draft strategy

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Offline  Outside the box draft strategy
#1

Posted: June 13, 2016, 2:29 PM Post
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I'm more asking this for the 'experts' here as this might be a terrible idea, but I wonder if you thought a certain draft was so much deeper than any others, if it would be worth employing this strategy :

Purposely ignore the draft pool cap for your team. Load up on nothing but 'unsignable' players, go over slot to sign all of them. So let's say instead of spending 9M, you end up spending 35M on draft picks one year. With a 100% penalty on the overage you would need to budget $61M to cover this. And you'd forfeit your 1st for the next 2 years but hope that you added 10 or 15 first round talents in one draft.

Would this be a shrewd way to use the system to build a powerhouse farm overnight, or would it be a good way to alienate the rest of the league while wasting money and draft picks?


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#2

Posted: June 13, 2016, 2:43 PM Post
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It's entirely unfeasible and unwise. Especially considering there's a 100% tax penalty on any team that spends more than 15% of their pool money PLUS you lose your next two first round picks.


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#3

Posted: June 13, 2016, 2:50 PM Post
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I'll say that is an interesting idea. I could see a team like the Dodgers trying it similar to how they went crazy during the international period knowing they would be locked out for 2 years of major signings. Could work in a deep draft I suppose and you had deep pockets.


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#4

Posted: June 13, 2016, 3:02 PM Post
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This is a strategy that would be something a money rich team could do -- it's similar to what clubs employ with the international signings. If you could sign - as suggested - 10 players who were 1st round talents, it would be a great way to load up a farm system very quickly. Yes, it's going to cost plenty. So if it costs $30-35M, it'll ultimately cost you $60M or so. But you just got 10 1st round picks added to your system in one year. That's an incredible haul.

I think the strategy would work best for a team that's actually pretty good - that way when they give up their next two 1st round picks, it's not like you're missing out on Bryce Harper or someone like that.

One issue would be other clubs recognizing what you are doing, and they start drafting those good players you want (with no intention of signing them). If you end up only being able to draft four or five first round talents, then it might not be worth it to you.

The other issue would be that if you could draft ten 1st round talents, you still have to lure them out of their college commitments. The kid has already turned down $2 million or $3 million by letting the world know he's going to college. That means you need to give him more - maybe another million or two million - each kid will likely be different. It might cost a lot more than $30M to sign them all. It could be $40M - plus the extra penalty.

Ultimately, you have to have the extra money, be willing to accept the lose of the two future picks, and then actually pull off drafting that many 1st round talents.

PS - I've seen this suggested before in other articles. The feeling is that a team like the Yankees or Red Sox or Dodgers could pull it off. The Sox spent $70M on Moncada - one guy. So why not do the same for 10 first rounders.


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#5

Posted: June 13, 2016, 7:11 PM Post
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I think the strategy has merit if you have money. Basically you need to identify the mid to lower level round 1 guys...give them a guarantee of $3 million which is above what their slot would be. You would need to reassure them continually during the draft and say...prospect d, you are going in round 4 for 3 mil. Another perk is that you only lose the next two first rounders...so the following draft you "could" do something similar, but after that first year teams know what you're doing and could counter.


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#6

Posted: June 13, 2016, 7:28 PM Post
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I'm not sure teams value draft picks highly enough that they would do this. Maybe if every player you drafted was a top-15 talent, but those aren't the guys that slip through to later rounds due to signability concerns. You would be getting ten players that teams were valuing as (maybe) lower-first-round, second-round talents. Would a team really want to spend the equivalent of $60M just to sign a bunch of second-round guys?


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#7

Posted: June 13, 2016, 8:40 PM Post
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Draft picks fail at way to high of a rate to make this a good strategy. Even if you could get every single one of the top ten players in players in the draft, most would fail.

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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#8

Posted: June 14, 2016, 12:44 AM Post
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Nate and I discussed that a couple of years ago... if pitchers were falling and it made sense to draft a bunch and give in to their demands to blow the cap away. The idea was is Carlos Rodon was sliding do you pick him up after the 1st round and sign him for the top of the draft money? I've always been skeptical that Rodon was going to hold up so I wasn't in favor of the concept in that specific instance, but I can see where if the team was positive about a player who was sliding and the next draft was going to be so/so... like this last one, that blowing away the pool would make sense. I would actually target a couple of players with strong college commitments and go after them as well with 1st round money to make the biggest splash possible.

That being said this is the same team that went signability all on the way in the draft until the pool was put in place and didn't spend in the international market until the international pool was implemented so there's not a history of aggressiveness, more conservativeness. It would appear that they tried to get creative in the Medieros draft by taking Kodi then going after Gatewood and Harrison, but I've always maintained that Kodi wasn't player to go under slot with. I would have preferred trying that with Sean Newcomb or Grant Holmes, both of whom are working on control issues as well but I was more enamored with the overall package. With an entirely new regime in place I'm not sure how it will play out in the future but this year's international market is shaping up to be a disappointment and I wasn't thrilled with the top of the draft of this year either, there just wasn't enough upside from my perspective.

Bottom line is that I think that idea has merit in specific instances but I'm unsure that the Brewers would ever be that aggressive.

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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#9

Posted: June 14, 2016, 5:19 PM Post
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TheCrew07 said:
Nate and I discussed that a couple of years ago... if pitchers were falling and it made sense to draft a bunch and give in to their demands to blow the cap away. The idea was is Carlos Rodon was sliding do you pick him up after the 1st round and sign him for the top of the draft money? I've always been skeptical that Rodon was going to hold up so I wasn't in favor of the concept in that specific instance, but I can see where if the team was positive about a player who was sliding and the next draft was going to be so/so... like this last one, that blowing away the pool would make sense. I would actually target a couple of players with strong college commitments and go after them as well with 1st round money to make the biggest splash possible.


Bottom line is that I think that idea has merit in specific instances but I'm unsure that the Brewers would ever be that aggressive.


It is a very risky strategy to employ. You basically have to hit on the players you draft. The risk of not hitting on those players will set you back at least 4-years or more in your minor league system. If you are losing two picks in the first round of the next two drafts you are losing a lot of signing pool money. You would almost be guaranteed to have the lowest amount of money to sign players for the next two years. Which means you are probably going to be drafting nothing but college seniors or slot value players.

If you are going to employ this strategy it would be best to go all out and sign restricted FA in the next two off seasons. Since your signing pool is going to be extremely low anyways it is probably just best to gamble everything at that time and go "all in".

I don't see many teams doing this maybe a big market team will do this if they wan't to super jump start their rebuilding process but the risk of this not paying off would be franchise crippling even to a big market team. The big market team wouldn't be crippled for as long as a small market team would be but it would still hurt.


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#10

Posted: June 14, 2016, 6:27 PM Post
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In my opinion the penalties are too hard for his to make sense. Paying double the money and losing two first round picks doesn't really make sense. As some else mentioned you aren't going to get top half of the 1st type talent because those guys will sign. You are going to be able to get fringe 1st round options and those flame out 9/10.

Interesting idea, but not really a good risk.


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#11

Posted: June 14, 2016, 6:43 PM Post
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Location: Kenosha, WI
A way more interesting and more plausible idea would be if a draft were so bad at the top that a Top 5 team intentionally drafts a guy to not sign him. Then taking that years pick and bonus pool to the next year that scouts know is going to be filled with elite talent at the top.

Of course this theory is incredibly unethical for a team to do and most likely highly frowned upon. However that being I bet a team could do it under the table quite easily if they wanted to. Maybe taking a guy they know has a health issue and just saying they couldn't reach an agreement by low balling them. Or we could draft some front office guys son out of HS and not sign him.


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#12

Posted: June 14, 2016, 7:49 PM Post
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The draft an unsignable guy strategy Isn't the best idea until about the 7th pick. When each reduced pick after 7 is only 120k this season. You do it in top 5 and it's almost 1mil or more on the drop.

The outside the Box strategy. The Cubs would have been a perfect team to do it in 2015. If they would have just taken Best Available and signed and incurred the penalty. So they lose 2 1st round selections the following years. Well they lost their 1st 2 picks with signing Lackey and Heyward which would have then been 2nd and 3rd round. And this next season they could do the same strategy. With signing QO FAs. They had the 9th selection last year and would have only been the 28th and looking 28-30th this year and likely next. The sacrifice of those picks with such a general lack of success rate wouldn't nearly hurt as much.

Atlanta just may be a prime team to do this next season. Again trade for comp picks have a huge bonus pool(especially if they get #1 pick) And hope that by 2017 season they get to a middle or better type of team making that 1st round pick not hurt so much Plus the QO signs after that season. It'd be interesting to see that strategy get played out once and follow how it worked out. But it'd have to be played out by a High Market Club who's on the rise but a lousy season and they have Money to spend for FA in 2 years.


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#13

Posted: June 15, 2016, 6:20 AM Post
Posts: 342
One question I've wondered is there a limit to a endorsement contract to skirt signing bonus restrictions a minor league player can sign? I would assume there would be some restrictions with any company affiliated with the ownership group of a team, but I could see apparel companies fighting to get in on the ground floor if another Bryce Harper were to come up. If someone were to start a go-fund me page to get Jared Horn $3 million (not feasible but in theory) to say Brewerfan is his favorite unofficial fan site of the Milwaukee Brewers and it happened to coincide with him signing a $100K slot contract, would that be within the rules? What the powerball at?


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#14

Posted: June 15, 2016, 10:44 AM Post
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You are going to be able to get fringe 1st round options and those flame out 9/10.

The only way it would work is if you are signing high first round candidates that others pass on because of sign-ability. The Jared Horns, Carlos Rodons, Donny Everetts...

The main question is if you could actually get 10 of them to sign. Risky yes, but very interesting strategy if you can pull it off.

I think the worries about the effect on future drafts is backwards. It sounds like you are trying to target 10 possible 1st round players that will never be drafted in the 1st round because of sign-ability concerns. So losing 2 future first round picks and gaining 9 is a good trade (especially if you know they will be late 1st round picks). The risk of any one 1st round pick failing is essentially the same. If you have a 50/50 chance of making the MLB roster as a 1st round pick, gaining 5 (out of 10) in one year is better than gaining 1 (out of 2) over the next two years.

The only exception is that you need a draft where you can actually get 9 guys worthy of a 1st round grade that others pass on. AND know they will sign for X million above slot. So you would REALLY need to do your homework. Or prepared to be fired...


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#15

Posted: June 15, 2016, 11:12 AM Post
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Last year, we drafted 7 players that could immediately be considered un-signable:

25 (751). Justin Hooper, LHP, De La Salle HS (CA) WILL NOT SIGN -> PerfectGame Projected as a 1st round pick (5-10 possible) but short on experience.
26 (781). Jon India, SS, American Heritage School (FL) WILL NOT SIGN -> PerfectGame ranked him 127 overall.
29 (871). Donny Everett, RHP, Clarksville HS (TN) WILL NOT SIGN -> PerfectGame Projected as a 1st or 1S pick.
30 (901). Charlie Donovan, SS, Westmont HS (IL) WILL NOT SIGN -> PerfectGame ranked him 405 overall.
32 (961). Sean Chandler, RHP, Papillion-La Vista HS (NE) WILL NOT SIGN -> Unsure
34 (1021). Tristan Beck, RHP, Corona Senior HS (CA) WILL NOT SIGN -> PerfectGame Projected as a 1st or 1S pick.
39 (1171). Nolan Kingham, RHP, Desert Oasis HS (NV) WILL NOT SIGN -> PerfectGame ranked him 121 overall.

So, that makes 3 that were rated in the 1st round that we drafted alone. Seems like there should be enough quality players to make it work (assuming money is "enough" to get them to sign).

But I would be looking back at history pretty heavily and comparing the rankings vs. succeeding at MLB level post college for these players before I attempted something like this.


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#16

Posted: June 15, 2016, 12:12 PM Post
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So going off last year this approach doesn't really make sense. We would have had 3 more extra 1st round talents, but minus two since that is what we lose in future draft picks. So in the end a net gain of one 1st round pick. While that sounds nice a team could probably do the same thing with underslot deals to get just as much overall talent.

Another problem is the fact you don't know where those future picks are. If the Twins did this last year I am sure they were expecting to have a decent team this year and not pick in the Top 10. However they would lose a Top 3 pick if they tried this last year...oops. It's too risky to dangle the loss of what could be a high pick. Teams falter every year and play under expectations.


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#17

Posted: June 15, 2016, 7:30 PM Post
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Well you gotta remember, you see 3 extras, but what was available with the 2nd pick? The 3rd pick? So forth and so on. Could they have drafted 3more 1st round types or more when their selection came up. I do think it would be very hard to find 10 or even 8 1st rd potentials, unless you had a lot of picks by the end of the 3rd round. Atlanta selected Horn with their 2nd pick. Now if we selected a 2nd or 3rd time prior to Atlanta and taken him, I'd imagine Atlanta finds the next like Justin Hooper last year instead.


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Offline  Re: Outside the box draft strategy
#18

Posted: June 17, 2016, 10:59 AM Post
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So going off last year this approach doesn't really make sense. We would have had 3 more extra 1st round talents, but minus two since that is what we lose in future draft picks. So in the end a net gain of one 1st round pick. While that sounds nice a team could probably do the same thing with underslot deals to get just as much overall talent.

I guess I should have articulated it a bit better. But I meant that we drafted 3 of these types last year (without attempting the OP suggestion). Thus, I'm assuming other teams did similarly in the 20+ rounds. I wasn't suggesting that we ONLY draft those three... just that we at a minimum had 3 available.


Another problem is the fact you don't know where those future picks are. If the Twins did this last year I am sure they were expecting to have a decent team this year and not pick in the Top 10. However they would lose a Top 3 pick if they tried this last year...oops. It's too risky to dangle the loss of what could be a high pick. Teams falter every year and play under expectations.

Someone mentioned that it really only made sense if you were fairly certain that you had a good team for the next couple years. So for the Brewers, this might have been very interesting back in 2012 to do this. The MLB team was pretty strong, but the farm was growing pretty weak. If that condition coincides with a very deep draft, it would be tempting...


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