Based on a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Toronto Blue Jays can expect to pick low in the first round of the 2021 MLB draft.
The Toronto Blue Jays took another step towards an unlikely playoff spot on Monday night, with an impressive 11-5 win over the New York Yankees. They now stand three victories away from clinching a place in the postseason festivities, with six regular season games remaining.
On the flip side, with every passing win the Blue Jays are moving further down the order for the 2021 MLB draft. As per a report from ESPN‘s Jeff Passan, the order for next year’s draft will likely be determined by the results of the 2020 season.
While this may be the usual approach for the MLB draft, there had been some uncertainty surrounding next year’s event. As per Passan, a source familiar with the league’s thinking said:
"“…the clause written into MLB’s March agreement with the players’ association that gave the league the right to determine draft order was a contingency in case the season was canceled well before records were indicative of much.”"
It is important to note that MLB has announced nothing official as yet. However, going on the assumption Passan is correct — and he’s among the best baseball reporters out there — it would result in the Blue Jays picking at the low end of the first round.
Based on the current standings entering Tuesday’s slate of games, Toronto has the joint 11th-best record in the Majors. Of course you can argue it’s a welcome problem to have, when considering they are on course to make the postseason for the first time since 2016.
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Pending how the final week of the regular season plays out, the Pittsburgh Pirates are on course to grab the coveted first overall pick in next year’s draft. Irrespective of other teams, three more losses will secure their position.
The Texas Rangers currently hold the second overall pick and of interest to the Blue Jays, the Boston Red Sox are in third place. The top five is rounded out by the Arizona Diamondbacks in fourth and, amazingly, last year’s World Series champion Washington Nationals at number five.
As things stand, the 2021 MLB draft will take place on July 11-13. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the league and the players association agreed the draft can be limited to 20 rounds, up from five rounds this year.