The Cincinnati Reds are 3-22 to open the 2022 season.
No, it’s not a mistake; and yes, you read that right.
In previous seasons, they would be a lock to get the first overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft.
However, as the Players Association fought to implement some anti-tanking measures in collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations during the lockout, the entire draft landscape has changed.
There is now a draft lottery, so the Reds aren’t a lock to get the first pick.
And there is more.
“And to add insult to insult, the Reds have only a 16.5% chance at the No. 1 overall pick in 2023 because of the new draft lottery. Even worse: Teams cannot receive lottery picks in three straight seasons, so if Cincinnati doesn’t try to win by 2025, the earliest it picks is 7th,” MLB insider Jeff Passan tweeted.
And to add insult to insult, the Reds have only a 16.5% chance at the No. 1 overall pick in 2023 because of the new draft lottery.
Even worse: Teams cannot receive lottery picks in three straight seasons, so if Cincinnati doesn't try to win by 2025, the earliest it picks is 7th.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 5, 2022
The Reds Don’t Care About Competing
The gap in talent from a first overall pick to the fourth or fifth could be significant, not to mention the difference between a hypothetical first and a seventh.
That specific rule was made for teams like the 2022 Reds.
They virtually gave up before everything started, trading their best players for prospects and letting key free agents go.
But the truth is that the Reds’ owners’ main goal was not necessarily a high draft pick in 2023, but instead, cutting payroll in 2022.
They just didn’t want to pay for a competitive roster, and as a result, they may not be well-positioned come the 2023 draft.
We know they will probably finish with the worst record in baseball this year, and probably in 2023, too.
The fans are the most affected: it’s hard to imagine them actually wanting to go to a Reds game.