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2024 MLB draft lottery: Guardians jump to No. 1 pick, Mets, Yankees, Padres fall thanks to payroll tax

The Cleveland Guardians have landed the No. 1 pick in MLB’s 2024 amateur draft. The Guardians’ selection was determined on Tuesday in MLB’s second ever draft lottery. MLB and the MLBPA agreed to a lottery for the top six picks in the current collective bargaining agreement in an effort to reduce anti-competitive behavior.

Here are the top six picks in the 2024 draft as determined by the lottery:

1. Cleveland Guardians (2% odds)
2. Cincinnati Reds (0.9% odds)
3. Colorado Rockies (18.3% odds)
4. Oakland Athletics (18.3% odds)
5. Chicago White Sox (14.7% odds)
6. Kansas City Royals (18.3% odds)

The Rockies, Athletics, and Royals all had a better than 18% shot at the No. 1 pick, yet none of the three will pick higher than No. 3.

This is the first time in franchise history the Guardians will hold the No. 1 pick. The Pirates won the first draft lottery last year, and used the No. 1 pick in this summer’s draft on LSU right-hander Paul Skenes.

Of the 18 non-postseason teams, 17 had a shot at the No. 1 pick (and a top-six pick in general), though the worst teams had the best odds. (The Nationals were the exception.) The full lottery odds can be seen here. The remaining 12 non-lottery, non-postseason teams get picks 7-18 in the reverse order of this season’s standings. Here are those picks:

7. St. Louis Cardinals
8. Los Angeles Angels
9. Pittsburgh Pirates
10. Washington Nationals
11. Detroit Tigers
12. Boston Red Sox
13. San Francisco Giants
14. Chicago Cubs
15. Seattle Mariners
16. Miami Marlins
17. Milwaukee Brewers
18. Tampa Bay Rays

Despite finishing with baseball’s fifth-worst record, the Nationals did not have a chance at the No. 1 pick through the lottery. Teams that pay into revenue sharing (like Washington) cannot have a lottery pick in back-to-back years. The Nationals had the No. 2 pick last year and used it on LSU outfielder Dylan Crews. That prevented them from picking in the lottery this year. Also, teams in this situation can pick no higher than No. 10, so that’s the pick Washington received.

The 12 postseason teams are ordered by their postseason finish. Teams within each postseason round are ordered in the reverse order of the standings, with clubs that receive revenue sharing selecting before teams that pay into revenue sharing. Here is the rest of the first round:

The Mets, Padres, and Yankees all exceeded the $273 million third competitive balance tax threshold in 2023. Exceed that threshold and your first selection in the next year’s draft moved back 10 spots. Lottery picks are protected, however. Had those teams moved up into the lottery, the 10-pick penalty would have been applied to their second pick next year.

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