Just in case you thought that the new rules introduced by Major League Baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement weren’t going to make things complicated enough in the days leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31st, today we get to experience the first ever Competitive Balance Lottery. The lottery, scheduled to take place this afternoon, is designed to help the ten smallest market and the ten lowest income teams receive one of six extra draft picks in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Because of crossover between the smallest markets and the lowest incomes, there are a baker’s dozen of teams that will be competing for order and spots in the bonus round of draft picks based on each team’s winning percentage in the previous season. This year, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays will be included.

For those counting at home, that’s four playoff teams from last season, including the World Series Champions, and a team that just moved into a new stadium and made multiple splashes on the free agent market this past off season.

The new competitive balance round of the draft will occur after the first round and the supplemental round that includes compensation picks for free agent signings is finished. After the first six picks, and the second round, another round of six picks in what I like to call The Convuluted Round will occur. This round will consist of teams from the first group that did not get drawn, along with any other team that wasn’t included in the first draw that receives revenue sharing. So, after the initial six from the list above are drawn, the remaining seven teams and the Detroit Tigers, a team that signed Prince Fielder to a nine year, $214 million contract ahead of this season, will be randomly selected to fill out the second round of six picks.

Oh, and did I mention that these picks from the competitive balance round can be traded?

For the first time in Major League Baseball history, these, and only these draft picks can be dealt, and they can only be traded once. The wheeling and dealing of picks can occur immediately after they’re drawn, meaning that we could potentially see draft picks moved in the next couple of weeks before the July 31st trade deadline. However, trading of the picks will only be allowed until the end of that regular season, but again permitted at the beginning of the next regular season. So, there will be no winter meeting blockbuster deals involving draft picks.

Several of the teams receiving picks today are considered buyers at the trade deadline, as such, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the bonus picks moved for the type of player that would have brought back draft pick compensation for a non-competitive team under the previous collective bargaining agreement, but not under the new one. In fact, due to the extra wild card, I’d say that only the Rockies, Royals and Padres are certain to hold on to their picks, assuming they’re not one of the two teams that get left out.

Confused? Good. I’m fairly certain that the purpose of the Competitive Balance Lottery is to make all baseball fans as confused as Bud Selig looks in photographs.

And The Rest

Francisco Rodriguez replaces John Axford as the Milwaukee Brewers’ closer. [Big League Stew]

Mike Trout! [Baseball Musings]

Barry Zito!?!?!?! [McCovey Chronicles]

There’s no tear in David Ortiz’s achilles, but he will miss a number of games while avoiding the Disabled List. [Over The Monster]

The Oakland A’s and the chaos of the second Wild Card. Seriously, have you looked at the American League standings today? [Baseball Nation]

It gets harder and harder for me not to love the Washington Nationals. This is how the veterans on the team settled the whole Ozzie Guillen/Bryce Harper feud from earlier this week. [Sun-Sentinel]

Boston Red Sox starter Aaron Cook isn’t striking anyone out, and that’s okay. [Baseball Nation]

The New York Mets are looking to the future. Psst. The future is not now. [Star-Ledger]

Evaluating the starting pitcher trade market. [Walkoff Woodward]

The quiet challenges facing David Price. [Baseball Nation]

Jay Buhner suggests that the thought of Ichiro (!) getting another long-term contract is sickening. [Seattle Times]

The Atlanta Braves are rumoured to be interested in signing Martin Prado to a long-term deal. [Talking Chop]

Fortunately, no one was injured in the latest edition of the Getting Blanked Show, we just talked about everyone else who will be missing time due to boo boos. [Getting Blanked]