Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cubs Miffed as Cards Score Extra Pick in Draft

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cubs Miffed as Cards Score Extra Pick in Draft

Article excerpt

CHICAGO * The Cardinals considered Cubs executive Theo Epstein's comments and frustration over the bonus draft pick they received Wednesday a "compliment," but also recognized that there was more to it than market size and revenue.

There was pure luck. In a draw conducted by Major League Baseball from eligible teams, the Cardinals received the third competitive- balance pick in next summer's draft. The pick is expected to be somewhere between 35 and 40, and it will come after the first round. There were 13 teams eligible for the first round of competitive- balance picks, and each team's chances of winning a pick are based on last year's winning percentage. The National League champion Cardinals' 97 wins last season gave them close to a 3 percent chance of getting an extra pick, an official said.

Increasingly under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, picks are prized and at this time of year an extra pick can have added power.

"I could talk all day about the Cardinals and how much we hold them in high regard," Epstein, the Cubs' president of baseball operation, told reporters Wednesday in Chicago. "That's a fantastic franchise. They have been for the better part of a century. They do extremely well from a baseball standpoint, and from a revenue standpoint. That's probably the last organization in baseball that needs that kind of (an) annual gift."

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, whose club opens a three- game series today at Wrigley Field, wrote in an email that the comment from Epstein was "a compliment to our organization." He assured "there are no hard feelings."

Mozeliak has one more card to play, as early as this week.

By getting a pick in the competitive-balance round immediately after the first round, the Cardinals not only have access to a top- 40 talent but also to the slot money assigned to that pick. Their draft bonus pool will be larger for 2015 as a result of winning this lottery, and that can allow them to overspend earlier or later, as they did with an extra pick this season. …

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