The MLB is worried about tanking

The Philadelphia 76ers, while trying to win a championship long term by acquiring assets for the future, are often labeled tankers.
Major League Baseball executives are worried about tanking in their sport, which, unlike the NBA, guarantees the first pick in the draft to the team with the worst record.
One of the options offered up by an unnamed executive in a story on the issue by Jayson Stark is that the league should have a lottery draft.
Like the NBA.

“To me,” another NL exec said, “there’s a difference between rebuilding and saying, ‘We’re going to get the No. 1 pick,’ and then really trying to lose — trying to lose 105 or 106 games to get that pick. … If it’s the system that’s leading to that, then one way to solve it is to have a lottery.”

He’s referring to a draft lottery. And that topic will almost certainly come up in the next round of labor talks. But in the meantime, the same exec said, it’s hard to deny that the draft rules, under this system, provide incentives for teams to lose lots and lots of games. Because unlike under the previous rules, the new system gives more draft-pool money for teams at the top of the draft to play with.

“Under the old system, you could spend a lot of money in the late rounds on kids that would fall in the draft,” he said. “And you didn’t have to have a really high pick and a lot of draft-pool money to do some real damage in the draft. … But now, to do the same damage, you have to have a lot of pool money. And that means you have to have a high pick. Which encourages teams to lose a lot of games.”

I’m speechless.

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