The Orioles once again have received a competitive balance draft pick on the first day of the 2017 draft.

According to MLB.com, the Orioles' extra pick will be the second-last pick in competitive balance round B, currently 74th overall.


The competitive balance pick system was instituted in the previous collective bargaining agreement and created a lottery where the 10 teams with the lowest revenue and 10 teams with the smallest markets were placed in a lottery, eligible for an extra pick.

That went on for five seasons, but now, according to MLB.com, all 14 teams that fall into one of those two categories are guaranteed a pick. The order is determined by a formula that takes into account winning percentage and revenue, and how many picks are made after the first round versus after the second round will alternate.

This year, the first six are after the first round in round A, and the next eight are after the second round in round B. Next year, eight picks will be in round A. The Orioles, because of their recent success, will likely be toward the end of it regardless.

These picks are the only ones that are able to be traded in the baseball draft, and the Orioles have dealt away their past three competitive balance picks. The only pick they made in those rounds was outfielder Josh Hart in 2013.

The 2014 pick was included in a trade that yielded right-hander Bud Norris from the Houston Astros during the 2013 season. The 2015 pick was sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers as a means to get them to take on reliever Ryan Webb's $2.75 million salary at the beginning of that season. The 2016 pick was sent to the Atlanta Braves along with left-handed reliever Brian Matusz. In that May trade, the Orioles got Atlanta to eat roughly $3 million and received two minor league pitchers in return.

So far, the Orioles are the only team to embrace trading the picks on a large scale. In addition to offering teams another way to add a young, cost-controlled player who could help them compete down the road, the competitive balance picks also increase the size of a team's signing bonus pool for the draft, which impacts the quality of players they can select.

The Orioles, however, have found value in using the picks to take dead money off their major league payroll, which can then be re-invested later in the season.

As it stands, the Orioles will pick 21st after two clubs ahead of them forfeited first-round picks to sign free agents, and could earn another pick at the end of the first round if outfielder Mark Trumbo signs elsewhere. If the Orioles don't re-sign Trumbo or sign a free agent that requires them forfeiting a draft pick, they could have four picks in the top 74 this year.

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