Get your bids in: these Mets are for sale!

It’ll be fascinating to see the fate of GM Brodie Van Wagenen under new ownership. Luckily for him, the team is obligated to pay his clients several million dollars regardless of his own future. Wild times in New York these days, but their scouting and development teams have done well over the past few cycles, so the system remains solid despite the purge of Jarred Kelenic, Simeon Woods-Richardson and more. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Itch recaps the 2020 MLB Draft. Spencer Torkelson leads an ambush of young Tigers. Austin Martin books a surprise gig with a band of Blue Jays. Nick Gonzales leads a promising crew of Pirates. Ed Howard hops the El train to join the Cubs.

Throw in a whole bunch of other players along some conspiratorial thoughts connected to the post-draft signing period, and you’ve got mail! Or a notification, anyway. It’s a Razzball podcast! Back after an MLB-sized hiatus to gather around the prospect fire, gaze into the dancing future flames, and see what we can see.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Major League Baseball teams have to draft a lot of young pitchers. You do not. 

This discrepancy is a big part of what makes dynasty prospect rankings fascinating and fun for me. Simply put, at any given moment, more quality pitching prospects exist than dynasty leagues have minor league roster spots to accommodate. 

You can always pick up a relevant pitcher. 

You cannot always add a relevant speedster, and you very rarely add a legitimate bat with stolen base upside. . 

The TheoCubs tried to build a dynasty the way we would in fantasy baseball: drafting high-floor, well-developed hitters and buying pitchers via free agency and trade. This brought the Cubs a title but has proven difficult to maintain once they started stealing from the future to tread water in the present.

I attempted something similar in this space before the draft, building my Top Ten for 2021 First-Year-Player Dynasty Drafts by anticipating which international signings would crack the list on both the amateur and professional sides. 

A funny thing happened on the way to part two: MLB owners decided they didn’t want to pay up on the July 2 signing date and pushed that all way into January. Just like that, illegal handshake deals worth millions of dollars went poof. Families sacrificing toward this date for a decade were told to eff off, if they were personally told anything at all, and the dynasty draft season went up in smoke, at least in its typical form, at least for the time being. 

To that end, I’m ranking just the draftees here this time. Can’t really count on January signings or international free agency to actually happen in this climate when MLB just makes shizz up as it goes along. 

It’s not a coincidence that baseball’s head McDucks waited to see how the $20,000 per player free agent bonanza went before pushing the international deadline. Very dark timeline stuff all over in 2020, including the post-bonanza, post-postponement note from MLB for teams to be miserly with any scholarships connected to the ultra cheap sweepstakes. 

Just so ironic to bang the drum about pace of play and fan interest for years only to say screw it all in 2020, but here we are. Let’s talk baseball! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I was having a blast watching the 2020 Major League Baseball Rule 4 Draft, but at some point in the 4th round, the whole pageant started to feel gross. 

All these billion dollar teams focused on doing little maneuvers to afford the high school kids they actually wanted. 

In the draft.

When you presumably add the players you want. 

It’s incongruous. 

And it’s not some pandemic 2020 thing. 

That’s just the base design of the thing made even more salient by the compressed variation MLB farted together in what passed for their attempt to rise to these unique circumstances.

Seniors’ ages are leveraged against them.

Juniors’ ages are leveraged against them.

Sophomores’ ages are leveraged against them in a slightly different, Wilcoxian way.

All this so owners can acquire laborers who’ll make less than minimum wage as cheaply as possible. It’s a salary cap for amateurs, designed to be much, much smaller budgets than a free market would generate. 

One might think the Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers or just about anyone competitive would campaign for more, maybe even better, but it turns out: who doesn’t love the leverage provided by an artificial line beyond which you must not go?

Easy way to end negotiations. 

Just like writing some bullshit god-power rule into the bylaws of a short-term agreement built to get through a pandemic. I knew the players shouldn’t have signed that noise. 

Anyhow, onto the shizz, making my best Karl Ravich face. 

Let’s start with my least favorite few drafts so we can end on a high note. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?