What happened. The St. Louis Cardinals received the #39 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft as part of the Competitive Balance process.
The story. In the 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement, the MLB instituted a Competitive Balance Round of the draft. The process was continued in the 2017 CBA. The 10 lowest-revenue clubs and the clubs from the 10 smallest markets are eligible to receive a Competitive Balance pick. You can read more about it at the MLB.com Glossary if you want more info.
The numbers. The Cardinals will pick at #19 in the first round of the MLB Draft and now they will pick up pick #39.
The impact. 3/10. After losing their first three picks in last season’s draft, one a compensatory pick to the Cubs for signing Dexter Fowler and the other two for an employee hacking the Astros’ analytics database, they will now gain an extra pick early in this season’s draft.
Who knows who they’ll pick or who will be available at this point, but there should still be some good talent available at #39. Dakota Hudson was taken #34 in 2016. Jake Woodford was taken #39 in 2015. Jack Flaherty was taken #34 in 2014. Stephen Piscotty was taken #36 in 2012. So the potential upside there is strong.
Something special about the Competitive Balance picks as well is that they can be traded, though only during the regular season. So don’t expect that to be part of the compensation package for a player like Giancarlo Stanton.