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The MLB Draft

The MLB Draft lasts for 40 rounds and the teams are allowed 1 pick per round.  The teams are given picks in the order of worst record to best record from the previous season’s standings. This allows the worst team to get the first pick so they have the best chance to improve in the future, and the best team to get the 32nd pick in every round.  The asset (people shouldn’t be considered currency) being exchanged is rights to sign future MLB players. This asset is technically the right to sign a player, so after being drafted, the player can negotiate their contract and decide if they want to sign or return to college.  Teams are able to trade with each other, both for picks in the current draft, future drafts, and current players they have on their roster.

Unlike in the other major American sports leagues, players in the MLB draft who have not gone to college yet, after being drafted by a team, can elect to go to college for 3 years, and then reenter the draft and get drafted by a different team.  This is an interesting design choice, because it gives the players significantly more power than in other sports.  Since a player doesn’t want to play for the team they are drafted by, they can go to college and come back in 2-3 years to play for a different team, because the original team cannot draft them unless they consent to it.  This affects how teams draft their players because they will be much less willing to use one of their highest picks on a player unless they know for sure that the player in question will sign with them.  A change to this market would be the players would get drafted and then be able to go to college but teams would still retain the rights to the player like in the NHL.  This would give teams more power in the market because players drafted by teams they don’t want to play for would still have to play for those teams.


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