With the St. Louis Cardinals looking as worn down as a team that has played 24 games in 25 days might look, the MLB Draft could not be more perfectly timed for fans in Cardinaldom. This year's draft offers fans an even more engaging scenario that in years past. With a large group of players having departed via free agency, the Cardinals find themselves with a plethora of picks.
The Cardinals find themselves with five picks in the first 59 overall. The organization's first pick in the draft will be the 19th overall. The next pick for St. Louis will be No. 23. Then, the 36th pick falls to them. Their fourth and fifth picks will be the 53rd and 59th of the draft.
The first round will be held tonight, starting at 6:00 PM CDT. Rounds 2-15 start tomorrow at 11:00 AM CDT.
This will be the first draft under the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA between MLB and the MLBPA. This CBA imposes spending limits on individual organizations that are determined by MLB. The Cardinals have 14 picks in the first 10 rounds and have been allotted $9.1 million to spend on those picks. If the Cardinals exceed this cap, they will be penalized by MLB. This is explained in a draft primer by Jenifer Langosch on stlcardinals.com (that is worth a read before the draft gets underway).
Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75 percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75 percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100 percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100 percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two drafts.
Further adding intrigue to the large number of early picks for the Cardinals is the fact that this will be the first draft in many years without Jeff Luhnow, who is now the general manager in Houston, calling the shots. It will be interesting to see whether the Cardinals continue some of the trends of drafts past or chart a new course.