In Major League Baseball, the draft for the following season goes in order from the team with the worst record down to the team with the best record. Draft picks cannot be traded, but if a team signs a Type A free agent (meaning the best of the crop) they lose their first pick that is No. 16 or worse. The top picks are protected from going to another organization, making it possible for the worst teams to get better faster. If a team is unable to sign a first round pick from the previous season, they get a sandwich pick in the same slot in the next year’s draft.

Jason A. Churchill of ESPN broke down how the draft order was going to be altered based on the scenarios just described. The Arizona Diamondbacks receive the No. 7 pick for failing to sign Barret Loux in 2010, the San Diego Padres received the No. 10 pick for failing to sign Karsten Whitson, and the Milwaukee Brewers received the No. 15 pick for not signing Dylan Covey. For the Diamondbacks, it gives them a very impressive outlook in the 2011 MLB Draft order now, because they will have the No. 3 and No. 7 overall selections. It could mean a very nice infusion of talent.

There were other picks that changed hands due to Type A free agent signings that have taken place since the completion of the 2010 World Series. The Boston Red Sox were given the No. 19 pick from the Detroit Tigers for signing Victor Martinez(notes), the Washington Nationals were given the No. 23 pick from the Chicago White Sox for signing Adam Dunn(notes), and the Tampa Bay Rays were given the No. 24 pick from the Boston Red Sox for signing Carl Crawford(notes). Boston was able to recover their first round pick though, as they now retain the rights to the Texas Rangers No. 26 selection for signing Adrian Beltre(notes).

There is still a slight possibility that something else could shift in the first round, especially with a few Type A free agents still on the market, but it’s hard to hypothesize that any of the remaining teams want to lose a first round selection to sign the players still out there. That means it will be taken into serious consideration if a team has to give up a pick in order to sign those players.

The 2011 MLB Draft should take place during the first two weeks of June, with the expectation that Major League Baseball is going to opt for another live first round presentation in primetime.

2011 MLB Draft Order (First Round)

1. Pittsburgh Pirates

2. Seattle Mariners

3. Arizona Diamondbacks

4. Baltimore Orioles

5. Kansas City Royals

6. Washington Nationals

7. Arizona Diamondbacks

8. Cleveland Indians

9. Chicago Cubs

10. San Diego Padres

11. Houston Astros

12. Milwaukee Brewers

13. New York Mets

14. Florida Marlins

15. Milwaukee Brewers

16. Los Angeles Dodgers

17. Los Angeles Angels

18. Oakland Athletics

19. Boston Red Sox

20. Colorado Rockies

21. Toronto Blue Jays

22. St. Louis Cardinals

23. Washington Nationals

24. Tampa Bay Rays

25. San Diego Padres

26. Boston Red Sox

27. Cincinnati Reds

28. Atlanta Braves

29. San Francisco Giants

30. Minnesota Twins

31. New York Yankees

32. Tampa Bay Rays

33. Philadelphia Phillies

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