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Pirates win MLB Draft Lottery, Cubs drop one spot

The Pirates and the Twins were the big winners in the first ever MLB Draft Lottery.

2022 Major League Baseball Draft
The Pirates are on the clock
Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The first ever MLB Draft Lottery was held this evening and the Cubs lost one spot in the draft, dropping down from the 12th pick to the 13th pick. The Cubs dropped one spot because the Minnesota Twins moved up from the 13th pick to the fifth pick.

The first pick in the draft went to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were one of the three teams with an equal chance to pick first. The Nationals, the team with the worst overall record in baseball last year, got the second pick. However, the third-worst team, the A’s, dropped all the way down to the sixth pick despite having an equal chance of picking first.

The 18 teams that failed to make the playoffs were all entered in the Draft Lottery. The first six picks were determined by the lottery, with the worst three teams—the Nationals, Athletics and Pirates—all having a 16.5% chance of the first pick. After that the odds of getting the first pick decreased slightly for each team with more wins in the 2022 regular season. The Cubs were the 12th-worst team last year, so they only had a 1.1% chance of getting that first pick. The odds of the second pick were then affected by who got the first pick until the first six slots in the draft were selected. Then teams were slotted in reverse order of their regular-season finish.

The final draft order is as follows, with numbers indicating where they pick in relation to where they would have picked last year with straight reverse-record deciding the draft order.

  1. Pittsburgh Pirates (+2)
  2. Washington Nationals (-1)
  3. Detroit Tigers (+3)
  4. Texas Rangers (+3)
  5. Minnesota Twins (+8)
  6. Oakland Athletics (-4)
  7. Cincinnati Reds (-3)
  8. Kansas City Royals (-3)
  9. Colorado Rockies (-1)
  10. Miami Marlins (-1)
  11. Los Angeles Angels (-1)
  12. Arizona Diamondbacks (-1)
  13. Chicago Cubs (-1)
  14. Boston Red Sox
  15. Chicago White Sox
  16. San Francisco Giants
  17. Baltimore Orioles
  18. Milwaukee Brewers

The Cubs were the worst team to lose a draft spot.

As you can see, the big winners here were the Pirates, who get the first overall pick and the bonus pool money that goes with it, and the Twins, who moved up eight spots. The Tigers and Rangers also did well, while the A’s, the Reds and the Royals were the big losers.

The playoff teams are now slotted in relation to how they finished in the postseason. This year the Astros will pick last in the first round, whereas last season the GIants picked last despite the Braves winning the World Series.

The rest of the first round goes as follows.

19. Tampa Bay Rays

20. Toronto Blue Jays

21. St. Louis Cardinals

22. New York Mets*

23. Seattle Mariners

24. Cleveland Guardians

25. Atlanta Braves

26. Los Angeles Dodgers*

27. San Diego Padres

28. New York Yankees

29. Philadelphia Phillies

30. Houston Astros

* The Mets and Dodgers first-round pick could still drop ten spots if their 2023 payroll exceeds the $230 luxury tax threshold by $40 million.

The draft lottery was created in the last collective bargaining talks as a way to discourage teams out of the playoff hunt from putting a non-competitive team on the field as a way of increasing their draft slot.

Next year there will be restrictions on the ability to pick in the top ten two years in a row. The teams that do not receive revenue-sharing money cannot pick in the top ten two years in a row. Teams that do get revenue sharing money cannot pick in the top ten three years in a row.

The MLB Draft will take place next July in Seattle as part of the All-Star Week festivities.