You Can't Win If You Don't Play
UPDATE: The MLB Rule 4 Draft Competitive Balance Lottery has been postponed until Wednesday 7-18.
The Rule 4 Competitive Balance and Forfeited Draft Pick lotteries will be held next Monday, and while it does not appear that any MLB club will be forfeiting a 1st round pick as the result of exceeding its Signing Bonus Pool by 5%+ (although it could still happen), 12 MLB clubs will definitely be awarded Competitive Balance draft picks in next June's Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft).
At stake in the lottery are six draft picks between the 1st and 2nd rounds and six more between the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
The six Competitive Balance lottery picks between the 1st and 2nd rounds will be slotted immediately after any Article XX-B Compensation picks awarded to teams who lose an MLB Article XX-B free-agent post-2012 after extending a "Qualifying Offer" to the player.
NOTE: A "Qualifying Offer" is a one-year guaranteed contract with a salary at least equal to the average salary of the 125 highest MLB aalaries from the previous season. This is the mechanism negotiated in the new CBA that replaces clubs offering salary arbitration to Type "A" and Type "B" free-agents in order to receive compensatory draft pick(s) should the player sign with snother club.
The six Competitive Balance lottery picks between the 2nd and 3rd rounds will be slotted immediately after the 30th pick of the 2nd round.
Only MLB clubs that are in the bottom ten smallest-markets and MLB clubs that receive revenue sharing are eligible to participate in the Competitive Balance Lottery, and no team can be awarded more than one Competitive Balance draft pick in a given season.
Competitive Balance draft picks can be traded beginning next Tuesday (the day after the lottery) up through the last day of the 2012 MLB regular season, and then again beginning on MLB Opening Day 2013 up until next June's Rule 4 Draft. (The draft picks cannot be traded during the off-season).
Also, a Competitive Balance draft pick can be traded only once (by the team to which it was awarded), so it can't be flipped to a third team later, and the pick cannot be sold for cash. If the pick is traded, it must be exchanged for a player or player(s).
There are 13 MLB clubs that qualify to participate in this year's Competitive Balance Lottery (most of the teams qualify because they both are a small market team and because they receive revenue sharng):
AZ, BAL, CIN, CLE, COL, KC, MIA, MIL, OAK, PIT, SD, STL, and TB.
Some of the teams that will be receiving Competitive Balance draft picks next Monday are contenders (one is even in 1st place in its division) and are expected to be "buyers" as the trade deadline nears, so don't be surprised if the Cardinals, Pirates, Rays, Reds, Orioles, Diamondbacks, and/or Indians trade their Competitive Balance draft pick before the July 31 trade deadline.
It could be that some of the teams looking to move assets (like the Cubs, for instance) are waiting for the Competitive Balance picks to be awarded before makng trades, since a Competitive Balance draft pick (especially one between the 1st and 2nd rounds) could actually have more value to a seller than the prospects being made available by the buyer.
If it turns out there are any forfeited lottery draft picks as the result of a club or clubs exceeding its 2012 Rule 4 Signing Bonus Pool by more than 5%, all MLB clubs will be eligible to participate in the lottery to receive the forfeited pick, except for those clubs that exeeded their assigned SBP (as the Cubs did when they signed 1st round pick Albert Almora).
The Competitive Balance lottery will be weighted in favor of those clubs that finished with the worst records in the 2011 season, and the Forfeited Draft Pick lottery is weighted in favor of teams receiving revenue sharing.