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MLB’s first-ever draft lottery: Date, odds for No. 1 pick, and everything else to know

MLB's first-ever draft lottery: Date, odds for No. 1 pick, and everything else to know

The World Series and 2022 MLB season are complete and the offseason is underway. There has already been one significant free agent signing with All-Star closer Edwin Díaz returning to the Mets on a five-year, $102 million contract. That is the largest contract ever for a reliever. Here are important offseason dates and deadlines you need to know.

As part of the new collective bargaining agreement, MLB and the MLBPA agreed to a revamped amateur draft order in an effort to curb noncompetitive behavior (i.e. tanking). With slight modifications here and there, the annual draft order was set in reverse order of the previous year’s standings since the draft was first instituted in 1965. That is no longer the case. 

Here is the new draft order structure:

  • Picks 1-6: Lottery
  • Picks 7-18: Non-postseason, non-lottery teams in reverse order of the previous year’s standings
  • Picks 19-22: Wild Card Series losers
  • Picks 23-26: Division Series losers
  • Picks 27-28: Championship Series losers
  • Pick 29: World Series loser
  • Pick 30: World Series winner

Here’s what you need to know about the 2023 draft order, which will be finalized when the lottery is held at the Winter Meetings in December.

Lottery date

The first lottery in MLB draft history will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 6, during the Winter Meetings in San Diego. The lottery itself will be broadcast live on MLB Network at 8:30 p.m. ET. Prepare yourself for six general managers sitting sheepishly on stage, hoping their team was bad enough to secure the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft.

Lottery odds

All 18 non-postseason teams have a chance at the No. 1 pick, though the worst teams have the best lottery odds. Here are the odds of securing the No. 1 pick for those 18 non-postseason teams:

The tiebreaker is the previous year’s record, which is why the Pirates (61-101 in 2021) have a 16.5 percent shot at the No. 1 pick while the Reds (83-79 in 2021) are at 13.2 percent even though the two teams finished with identical 62-100 records in 2022. The Orioles held the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft and selected shortstop Jackson Holliday (Matt’s son).

Picks 19-30 are set

The lottery will determine the top six picks, then the next 12 picks are the remaining 12 non-postseason teams in reverse order of the standings. That’s the easy stuff. Picks 19-30 are determined by each team’s postseason finish, and within each “tier” the teams are sorted by revenue sharing status and…

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