Oakland has a worst record in the majors this year. About halfway through the season, they stand at 23-48, and their 0.324 ratio means they haven’t even won one in three games. This afternoon, the primary bowler took his goal in the eighth inning and they still lost.
Not only are they in the MLB vault, they are on their way to the worst year in franchise history. At their current clip, they would lose 109 games, or 110 if you round up the decimal number, which would top their 54-108 mark from 1979. No other Oakland team has lost more than 98 times.
This is not entirely unexpected. We all knew the A’s were going to have a rough season after tearing down their roster for the next rebuild. And the Salary cuts in particular. But they hit a hole harder than we feared.
When your club is struggling, there’s usually a positive side to fall back on, which is the draft attitude. Sure you’re in last place, but that at least means you’ll get the first pick next summer!
Well, I have bad news for you.
One of the many changes that will come out of the recent shutdown is that the draft lottery will come in 2023. The first six selections will be decided by a lottery, with all teams ineligible, after which the rest will be decided by a record. In other words, the worst team only guarantees a 7th pick, and climbing to a level higher than that requires hitting the lottery. The worst team has the best odds in the lottery, but no better than the second and third worst teams.
All 18 clubs not in a playoff will enter a lottery for the top six selections. The percentage of each team’s chances of getting the first choice, in reverse order of the winning percentages: pic.twitter.com/lzWR3PeOqW
– Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) March 11, 2022
My point here is not to criticize the lottery idea, praise it, or really make a judgment at all. Instead, it reminds us all that it’s something that exists and will happen next summer, because it looks like it’s going to have a serious impact on A.
I’ve seen a lot of people in the comments section, on Twitter, or anywhere else talking about pick #1 regarding Auckland’s problems, but it’s a mirage. No matter how many matches A has lost this year, they can’t guarantee the 2023 top pick this way. They can only get there with some luck, and even then, they can’t maximize their chances in the process.
Perhaps none of this will matter. Auckland could bounce back a bit and stay out of last place, and maybe even get the lottery above To choose the best when all is said and done. Or they could get the lottery down to a lower tier but still get the gold because draft is an inaccurate science anyway. But dang. They haven’t had the first pick since 1965, and until the disaster of 1979 only landed them fourth, and now that they might finally be compliant with it, the decades-old rules are changing to remove them. This is some bad timing.
Tanks are no longer feasible in baseball, at least not in terms of draft placement, and the first team might become the first team to find out the hard way.