Chicago Cubs: Is tanking and rebuilding bad for the game of baseball?
By Jake Misener
Fixing the draft
So, here it is. Scott Boras’ solution to fix baseball.
"Boras has proposed draft bonuses for winning games. If a small-market team wins at least 78 games, it receives $2 million more to spend in the draft while the other teams get $1 million. It doubles if you win 80 games, with $2 million increments for every two victories, providing an extra $10 million in draft dollars to small-market clubs, and $5 million to large-market clubs, who win at least 86 games in a season."
It’s not an awful idea – by any stretch. Whether or not you agree with this exact solution is not the point here. The current configuration of the Major League draft is shredding the competitive nature of the sport. Now, I know what you’re going to say: this makes the most sense to regain long-term success for organizations.
Leadership is everything
Both Houston and Chicago struck it rich in Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa, respectively. And keep in mind, the Astros took Mark Appel with the top pick in 2013. The Cubs followed that by taking Bryant with the second overall selection. The rest, as they say is history.
Now, Jeff Luhnow got it right (clearly) with Correa. But what if they’d whiffed again? What if Chicago went after Jon Gray instead of Bryant? What I’m getting to is this: getting high draft picks does not necessarily equate to building a long-term winner.
The Cubs have been incredibly well-prepared when it comes to the June draft. And, to be honest, we have enjoyed the leadership and expertise of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer – growing accustomed to regular success, both in free agency and trades.
Not every team has such a reliable hand at the tiller.
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Baseball has to own this mistake. It’s time to encourage competition rather than burning it all to the ground and hoping for the best. Without a competent front office (or perhaps outstanding would be a better term), the tank-and-rebuild guarantees nothing.
Let’s reward teams for winning – not throwing away season after season.