Will Cubs Target Rule 4 Draft Lottery Slots?

Up until last year, MLB First-Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft) slots could not be traded.

A club could lose a draft slot for signing a Type "A" Article XX-B free-agent (and it still can, although now they are called "Qualified Players"), or could gain a pick or picks if the club offered salary arbitration to one of its own Type "A" or Type "B" Article XX-B MLB free-agents and then the player signed with another club (and it still can receive one "compensation pick" between the 1st and 2nd rounds for losing a player to free-agency, as long as the player spent the entire previous season with that club AND the club offers the Article XX-B free-agent a one-year contract with a salary at least as much as the average salary of the top 125 salaries in MLB the previous season AND then the player subsequently signs with another club prior to the Rule 4 Draft).

But Rule 4 Draft slots could not be traded under any circumstances.  

However, the MLB Rule 4 Draft Competitive Balance Lottery (CBL) was established per the 2012-16 CBA, and these draft slots CAN BE TRADED.

The Rule 4 Draft Competitive Balance Lottery (CBL) is held on the Monday following the Rule 4 Draft signing deadline in July. Only MLB clubs that receive revenue sharing and clubs from the ten smallest markets are eligible to participate in the lottery for the CBL draft slots.

Six Competitive Balance Rule 4 Draft slots between the 1st and 2nd rounds and six more between the 2nd and 3rd rounds are awarded to eligible clubs by the lottery. An eligible club can receive no more than one CBL draft slot per draft. Once awarded, a CBL draft slot can be traded, but only during the MLB regular season. Also, the slot cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade. And a CBL draft slot can be traded only once (only by the club that was awarded the pick). Once traded, the slot cannot be "flipped" to a third club.

If a player selected with a CBL draft pick does not sign, the club receives a compensation selection in the next Rule 4 Draft, one slot lower than where the club selected the previous season. (The Miami Marlins received a CBL compensation pick in this year's draft after failing to sign their CBL pick last year). There is no further compensation if a player selected with a Competitive Balance compensation draft pick does not sign.

So far, three of the twelve 2014 Rule 4 Draft CBL slots have been traded, and because they cannot be flipped to a third team, the three traded CBL slots cannot be traded again. But the other nine CBL slots are available and can be traded up until the start of the draft. 

#35 (COL)
#38 (CLE)
#40 (KC)
#41 (MIL)
#69 (AZ)
#71 (STL)
#72 (TB)
#73 (PIT)
#74 (SEA)

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer stated in an interview this past week that he believes MLB clubs should be allowed to trade draft slots (like in the NFL and NBA), so don't be surprised if the Cubs offer some of their players (both players on their MLB 25-man roster as well as minor leaguers) to the clubs holding the nine tradeable CBL draft slots, not just to try and get more 1st & 2nd round draft picks (which would be nice), but also to increase the Cubs 2014 Rule 4 Draft spending limit (which is based upon the aggregate assigned value of a club's draft slots in the first ten rounds of the draft).

To get an idea of how club's value the CBL slots, here are the three trades made so far involving 2014 CBL draft slots:  

7-31-2013: BAL acquired RHP Bud Norris from HOU for OF L. J. Hoes, LHP Josh Hader, and CBL slot #37.
7-31-2013: SD acquired RHP Ian Kenndy from AZ for LHP Joe Thatcher, RHP Matt Stites, and CBL slot #70.  
5-31-2014: MIA acquired RHP Bryan Morris from PIT for CBL slot #39.  

The 2015 Rule 4 Draft Competitive Balance Lottery will be held on July 21st, and once those slots are awarded they can be traded, but again, CBL draft slots cannot be traded during the off-season and cannot be used to replace a PTBNL, so the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, the August 31st post-season roster eligibility deadline, and the days leading up to the Rule 4 Draft (June Draft) are when the CBL slots are most-likely to be traded.  

In addition, the Cubs will probably trade one or more of their four 2014-15 International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) Signing Bonus Values (SBV) in July. Such a move could be part of a larger trade (the Cubs SBV being a "sweetener"), or the SBV could be used just to acquire a player from another club (like when the Cubs traded 2B Ronald Torreyes to Houston last year for one of the Astros SBV).

Cubs 2014-15 ISBP SBV #1: $2,288,700
Cubs 2014-15 ISBP SBV #2: $458,000
Cubs 2014-15 ISBP SBV #3: $309,300
Cubs 2014-15 ISBP SBV #4: $206,700

NOTE: Cubs 2014-15 ISBP SBV #1 (the one worth $2,288,700) can ONLY be traded to HOU or MIA if the entire SBV is to be used, because for all other clubs a $2,288,700 SBV would exceed their pre-assigned 2014-15 ISBP by more than 50%, and a club cannot acquire an SBV that is more than 50% of the club's orginally-assigned ISBP for that International Signing Period. However, a club other than HOU or MIA could acquire Cubs SBV #1 and then subtract as much of it as is necessary so that the final total of Cubs SBV #1 is no more than 50% of the new club's originally-assigned 2014-15 ISBP (and then the balance of Cubs SBV #1 would just be forfeited).

All clubs receive an additional $700,000 in their ISBP that cannot be traded, so the Cubs 2014-15 ISBP is just under $4M.

Because they went WAY over their assigned International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) in 2013-14, the Cubs will not be able to sign any first-year international player for more than a $250,000 bonus during the 2014-15 International Signing Period (7-2-2014 through 6-15-2015), so having a $3.9M+ 2014-15 ISBP won't do them much good. They will almost certainly try and trade one or two of their higher SBV (probably as soon as they can, like on July 2nd) to one of the major players in signing international players (like maybe Toronto or Texas). So the Cubs would have to wait until at least July 2nd to make a deal where a Cub 2014-15 ISBP SBV is an integral part of the trade.

NOTE: A signing bonus paid to a first-year international player age 23 or older who has spent all or part of at least five seasons playing in an MLB-recognized foreign professional or "major" league does not count against the club’s ISBP. (A signing bonus paid to a first-year Cuban international player age 23 or older who has spent all or part of at least three seasons playing in Serie Nacional does not count against the club’s 2013-14 ISBP, then beginning with the 2014-15 ISP, a signing bonus paid to a first-year Cuban international player age 23 or older who has spent all or part of at least five seasons playing in Serie Nacional does not count against the club’s ISBP).


1. HOU
2. MIA
3. CHW
5. MIN
6. SEA
7. PHI
8. COL
9. TOR
10. NYM
11. TOR (compensation pick received for failing to sign 2013 1st Round pick - #10 overall)
12. MIL
13. SD
14. SF
15. LAA
16. AZ
17. KC
18. WAS
19. CIN
20. TB
21. CLE  
22. LAD
23. DET
24. PIT
25. OAK
26. BOS
27. STL
NOTE: BAL, NYY, TEX, and ATL forfeited their 2014 1st Round draft slots after signing post-2013 Article XX-B Qualified Player (Ubaldo Jimenez by BAL, Brian McCann by NYY, Shin-Soo Choo by TEX, and Ervin Santana by ATL).

28. KC (compensationn pick for losing post-2013 Article XX-B Qualified FA RHP Ervin Santana)
29. CIN (compensation pick for losing post-2013 Article XX-B Qualified FA OF Shin-Soo Choo)
30. TEX (compensation pick for losing post-2013 Article XX-B Qualified FA OF Nelson Cruz)
31. CLE (compensation pick for losing post-2013 Article XX-B Qualified FA RHP Ubaldo Jimenez)
32. ATL (compensation pick for losing post-2013 Article XX-B Qualified FA C Brian McCann) 
33. BOS (compensation pick for losing post-2013 Article XX-B Qualified FA OF Jacoby Ellsbury)
34. STL (compensation pick for losing post-2013 Article XX-B Qualified FA OF Carlos Beltran)
36. MIA (compensation pick received for failing to sign 2013 Competitive Balance Lottery pick - #35 overall)
NOTE: NYY forfeited the two Supplemental 1st Round compensation draft slots they received after losing post-2013 Article XX-B Qualified Players Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson when they signed post-2013 Article XX-B Qualified Players Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran.

42. HOU
43. MIA
44. CHW
45. CUBS
46. MIN
47. PHI
48. COL
49. TOR
50. MIL
51. SD
52. SF
53. LAA
54. AZ
55. NYY
56. KC
57. WAS
58. CIN
59. TEX
60. TB
61. CLE
62. LAD
63. DET
64. PIT
65. OAK
66. ATL
67. BOS
68. STL
NOTE: SEA, NYM, and BAL forfeited their 2014 2nd Round draft slots after signing post-2013 Article XX-B Qualified Player (Robinson Cano by SEA, Curtis Granderson by NYM, and Nelson Cruz by BAL). However, SEA will get their 2nd round pick back if another club signs post-2013 Article XX-B Qualified Player Kendrys Morales (who played for the Mariners in 2013) prior to the Rule 4 Draft. 


75. HOU 
76. MIA
77. CHW
78. CUBS
79. MIN
80. SEA
81. PHI
82. COL 
83. TOR 
84. NYM
85. MIL
86. SD
87. SF
88. LAA
89. AZ
90. BAL
91. NYY
92. KC
93. WAS
94. CIN
95. TEX
96. TB
97. CLE
98. LAD
99. DET
100. PIT
101. OAK
102. ATL
103. BOS
104. STL

105. MIA (compensation pick received for failing to sign 2013 3rd round pick)

NOTE: There are no compensation picks awarded for failing to sign players selected in the 4th round or lower.

FOURTH ROUND (same order each round from this point onward)
106. HOU 
107. MIA
108. CHW
109. CUBS
110. MIN
111. SEA
112. PHI
113. COL 
114. TOR 
115. NYM
116. MIL
117. SD
118. SF
119. LAA
120. AZ
121. BAL
122. NYY
123. KC
124. WAS
125. CIN
126. TEX
127. TB
128. CLE
129. LAD
130. DET
131. PIT
132. OAK
133. ATL
134. BOS
135. STL

139. (5th round) 
169. (6th round)
199. (7th round)
229. (8th round)
259. (9th round)
289. (10th round)
319. (11th round)
349. (12th round)
379. (13th round)
409. (14th round)
439. (15th rounsd) 
469. (16th round)
499. (17th round)
529. (18th round)
559. (19th round)
589. (20th round)
619. (21st round)
649. (22nd round)
679. (23rd round)
709. (24th round)
739. (25th round)
769. (26th round)
799. (27th round)
829. (28th round)
859. (29th round)
889. (30st round)
919. (31st round)
949. (32nd round)
979. (33rd round)
1009. (34th round)
1039. (35th round)  
1069. (36th round)
1099. (37th round)
1129. (38th round)
1159. (39th round)
1189. (40th round)


I don't think I will ever understand StL getting rule 4 competitive balance draft picks. I can understand the others (PIT, MILW, KC, CLE, SEA, COL, TB) Competitive balance means balancing the teams competing against the ones that aren't. How they are measuring a small market must be sucking eggs. The Cardinals based on radio/TV coverage and distances between competing geography are not in the same category as the others in that list. Maybe they should shrink the list to 5-6 teams?

Thanks Phil for the wonderful layout of the draft. You are amazing!

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the Cubs have "inquired about receiving a competitive-balance draft pick and the accompanying bonus-pool money" as part of a return package for right-hander Jeff Samardzija.


Passan guesses Rockies could be a team, would have to be Butler, parts and pick or PTBNL which would be Gray instead of Butler.

rebuffed by major league source via mlbtraderumors


[As measured by WAR per pick,] the Cubs have the worst draft record.


Tomorrow is Tuesday

"The Houston Astros have reached agreement on a five-year, $10 million guaranteed contract with first base prospect Jon Singleton and are promoting him to the big league club from Triple-A Oklahoma City, a baseball source confirmed to ESPN.com."


Crossing fingers that in about one year I will be reading a similar article about Kris Bryant.

Callis has his latest mock draft out.


Aiken, Rodon, Kolek, 4. Cubs: Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon State
Chicago wants pitching and covets Rodon, who could land here if Jackson goes to Houston or Miami. But if Rodon goes in the top three, the Cubs may not like any of the arms enough to take them this high. Hoffman would have been an obvious target before he blew out his elbow, and the Cubs could pass on Kolek or Nola. There's a growing sense that they'll save money to go after pitching later by cutting a deal with Conforto or Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost. Chicago could take Gordon, but it doesn't appear to be in on Jackson.


scouting report on Conforto

good bat, real good bat but poor defense, LF for now but maybe ends up at 1b where bat isn't so exciting.

good power/patience profile and hits from the left side, probably could be in majors quite quickly bat-wise

OSU junior so probably not getting a huge discount on him, OSU plays to advance tonight against UC Irvine

Nice work, AZ Phil!

ah, the good old draft days


Simpson labeled biggest 2010 draft bust

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  • Very nice. I saw him in Lansing in May. I'm still stunned that he hit a 400-foot foul ball onto Larch Street ... which is going the other way for a right-handed batter. It was perhaps the most amazing swing I've ever seen a minor league player take. I should also mention that it was about 40 degrees out at the time. Not that it's evidence of anything per se, but I feel his plate approach is way more advanced than Soler was at this stage in his development and that the comparisons aren't really fair to Jimenez. 50/50 chance I'll go to Midland tonight for the low-A debut of Oscar de la Cruz.

    John Beasley 1 hour 25 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez grand slam tonight. Hoping Soler power returns and gets hot but future looks bright in the outfield regardless.

    Finished the night 4-5, with two doubles - 32(!) on the season - along with the grand slam. Sick

    Eric S 2 hours 47 min ago view
  • Meanwhile, out West:

    SF is 2-11 since the break, lead over LA is down to one game, and they are running out Cain and Peavy this weekend against the Nats. Challenging times by the Bay.

    billybucks 3 hours 34 min ago view
  • Thanks for the updates Phil. Too bad about Frazier.

    Hagsag 7 hours 29 min ago view
  • The Cubs have released RHRP Scott Frazier (2013 7th round dfraft pick - Pepperdine).

    A Cubs pitching coach told me in Spring Training 2014 that he thought Frazier had the best pure stuff in the organization. Absolutely electric fastball & breaking ball combo. Other pitchers would gather behind the screen just to watch him throw "live" BP. That's how amazing he was. 

    Arizona Phil 12 hours 38 min ago view
  • Got a chance to see Diamondbacks RHSP Zack Greinke (15-day DL - strained oblique) throw a rehab start at Sloan Park Friday night. Four of the first seven AZL Cubs hitters singled and the Cubs did score an unearned run in the bottom of the 1st inning, but then Greinke got serious and struck out five in a row.

    ZACK GREINKE: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 4/0 GO/AO, 49 pitches (34 strikes)

    Arizona Phil 12 hours 52 min ago view
  • Have fun - It may be good for Arrieta to be facing a team that doesn't know him as well as the NL teams. A nice shutout would do wonders for his confidence. He is confident in public but baseball is hard and he could use a boost, I'm sure.

    Old and Blue 17 hours 44 min ago view
  • Me too. I'll be at the game tomorrow and would love to see Good Arrieta.

    Brick 18 hours 9 min ago view
  • Last few games have been the April version of the Cubs that disappeared completely the past two months.
    Hope they can sustain it.

    blockhead25 18 hours 35 min ago view
  • Don't sell yourself short, Judge.

    Jackstraw 19 hours 2 min ago view
  • I love this team.

    Looks like Mother Nature is trying to call this fight.

    Rob Richardson 20 hours 31 min ago view
  • Hey! I remember this team!

    billybucks 20 hours 39 min ago view
  • The key for Heyward's offense: get early leads. Heard a stat on Mike & Mike on the way to work that his avg/power much better this year when the Cubs have the lead. And true to form he gets the two run dinger with Cubs winning 3-0 ...

    Eric S 22 hours 5 min ago view
  • I'm sorry - I was probably not looking at the correct line, or spot, or...who knows!

    I could blame it on the weed, but I stopped smoking many years ago.

    Fortunately, I can rely on the rest of you sober and astute folks to bring the correct info forth.

    The E-Man 22 hours 33 min ago view
  • Oh yeah! It just felt like one for some reason.

    Old and Blue 23 hours 39 min ago view
  • Agreed. I was not including Fowler or Heyward.

    I'm just not a fan of 2016 Coghlan.....

    Dusty Baylor 23 hours 45 min ago view