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Mariners are awarded 15th pick in 2024 MLB Draft

Cleveland Guardians will pick first overall for the first time in franchise history

2024 MLB Draft Lottery presented by Nike at the 2023 MLB Winter Meetings Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

As an attempt to liven up the Winter Meetings, MLB has begun announcing the results of the Draft Lottery on the penultimate day of the meetings. You’ll recall that no longer does reverse-standings order determine the Rule IV Draft Order (the amateur draft, the one people are usually referring to when they talk about the draft; reverse-order standings are still in place for the Rule V Draft, which will take place tomorrow).

Instead, teams that didn’t make the playoffs are entered into a draft lottery for the top six picks in the draft, with the worst teams receiving the best odds. Picks 7-18 are in reverse standings order, and then the playoff clubs select in order of their playoff records. Additionally, the Nationals, despite a bottom-five finish, were deemed ineligible for the top picks lottery because payor clubs, those that receive revenue-sharing, can’t be selected in consecutive lotteries. All these measures are intended to fight tanking by not guaranteeing a club with the worst record automatically receives the first pick in the draft.

The Mariners had a .2% chance of winning the draft lottery, which of course they did not, but they did come out ahead of where they would have been without the lottery. The Mets, Yankees, and Padres all should have picked ahead of the Mariners, but because none won any of the first six spots, they’ll instead drop ten spots due to exceeding the luxury tax. That moves the Mariners up to the 15th pick instead of the 18th.

The winner of the first pick, the Guardians, only had a 2% chance, and this will be the club’s first-ever time selecting first overall. The Reds made the biggest jump upwards, with a record that should have put them at 13; instead, Cincinnati will have the second overall selection. As the worst three teams in baseball last season, the A’s, Royals, and Rockies all had the best chance at the top pick; the Rockies will select third, the A’s fourth, and the Royals pick sixth, behind the White Sox.