Posnanksi has a big piece (not that he ever writes small ones) about trading draft picks. In it he cites yesterday’s Jayson Stark article approvingly, with a nod back at my comments about Stark. Two things:
(1) Just to be clear, I don’t necessarily disagree with Stark’s overall “the draft it broken” argument. I think it is in many important ways. What I disagreed with was using the reported Boras demand of $50 million as a starting point — and the point of his most heated rhetoric — in the service of those arguments. Boras can ask what he wants. He’ll get what the Nats are willing to pay. By constantly parroting that $50 million number we’re simply allowing the Nats to declare victory for paying any amount less than that, when a good argument could be made that they’d be silly to pay anything north of, say, $25 million.
(2) I don’t think I can find a single thing with which I disagree in Posnanski’s column. If there’s a good argument against trading draft picks, I’ve yet to hear it, and I think Joe’s points about the prevalence of draft busts may be the single most salient argument for trading picks, at least from the owners’ point of view.
Why? Because if the Yankees of the world trade stuff to pick the Stephen Strasburgs of the world enough times, they’re going to experience diminishing returns. We know this, because that’s how the baseball draft rolls. Eventually, then, the Yankees are going to stop trading so much for these picks, and the signing bonuses the owners are so worried about are going to come down (and they may come down even if there aren’t a ton of busts, simply because there won’t be as big a need for top amateurs to demand so much to scare away undesirable franchises). This logic, broadly speaking is what has caused bad free agent contracts to veterans to ease down in recent years, and it will likely have a similar depressive effect on draft bonuses too.
So go read Posnanski. And if you have a good argument against trading picks, please let me know.
UPDATE: Here’s a very good argument in favor of trading draft picks from Keith Law (sorry; Insider only).