Some may see it as merciful, others (like me) will lament the fact there won’t be meaningful baseball in Milwaukee until April. There are now only four games left in the season, which the Brewers will close out with a final game against the New York Mets and then a weekend series against the Reds, who will be resting up for their first playoff appearance since 1995. Just because this game doesn’t mean anything for the playoffs doesn’t mean, however, that it won’t have any implications whatsoever. Draft slots will be up in the air this weekend, so let’s take a look at how the Brewers fit into the draft standings as of right now.
Courtesy of Baseball-Reference
With 75 wins currently, the Brewers can finish anywhere between 75-87 and 79-83. That means that they can’t possibly finish worse than the Indians, who already have 91 losses, and they can’t possibly finish ahead of the Tigers, who already have 80 victories. So that means that the Brewers are guaranteed to finish in the bottom 15 of the league, which is good news in the sense that they will have a protected first round pick in 2011. That means that if they sign a Type A free agent, the most they will be forced to give up is their second round pick, which comes after not only the first round of the draft but the supplemental round. If the Brewers want to go after a guy like Carl Pavano, this means that the costs will be much lower in terms of future draft pick value.
The Brewers are already guaranteed the 15th pick due to their failure to sign Dylan Covey, their 2010 draft pick. The Diamondbacks are guaranteed the 7th pick for failing to sign their first rounder and the Padres are guaranteed the 10th. That means that an 8th-worst finish (“highest” possible) would result in the 9th overall pick. Any finish between 9th worst and 12th worst will be pushed back two spots, and any finish between 13th and 15th worst will be pushed back three spots.
Personally, I think the value of winning these four relatively meaningless games is kind of fuzzy – I don’t think I would suggest tanking, and there’s a chance that a franchise would see a tangible benefit from winning 79 games as opposed to 76 or 77. However, I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to letting September callups see a majority of the playing time in these final four games. Still, the Brewers should be sitting pretty in what looks to be a deep draft, as the Brewers are probably looking at two top-15 draft picks and may even see a top-10 pick if some other teams can find a way to win this weekend.