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MLB Prospect Watch: What’s causing teams to trade first-round picks?

MLB Prospect Watch: What's causing teams to trade first-round picks?

A strange trend has popped up across Major League Baseball since the owner-imposed lockout was lifted last week. Not one, not two, but three first-round picks from last summer’s draft have been traded from their selecting teams to some other club: right-handed pitchers Gunnar Hoglund (from the Blue Jays to the Athletics in the Matt Chapman swap), Ryan Cusick (from the Braves to the Athletics in the Matt Olson deal), and Chase Petty (from the Twins to the Reds for Sonny Gray).

For a reference point on how odd that is, consider how only one first-round pick from the 2020 draft has been traded since they were selected — and that’s despite them having been in pro ball for an additional year. What, then, is causing teams to bid adieu to their latest top draft picks just eight months after choosing them?

“Because it’s allowed now,” one National League talent evaluator joked to CBS Sports. 

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