The Dodgers will pick 23rd overall in the 2024 MLB Draft, after everything got sorted out at the draft lottery on Tuesday night at the winter meetings in Nashville, with an assist from the Yankees and Padres.
The Dodgers weren’t involved in the lottery itself. The only teams eligible for that are the 18 teams that missed the playoffs, and the Dodgers have made the postseason 11 years in a row. The Guardians won the lottery and will pick first in next year’s draft, up eight slots from if the order was solely determined by previous year’s record. The Reds similarly moved up 11 spots from No. 13 to second overall.
The lottery determines the top six selections, with picks seven through 18 sorted in inverse order of record. After that, wild card losers were slotted 19-22, Division Series losers from 23-26, Championship Series losers 27-28, World Series runner-up 29th, and the champion Rangers 30th. The Dodgers were slotted in at 25th overall.
But three teams surpassed the third competitive balance tax threshold, which in 2023 was $273 million — the Mets, Yankees, and Padres. These teams see their first pick in 2024 drop 10 slots, something the Dodgers experienced in the 2022 and 2023 drafts after heavy spending in both 2021 and 2022.
For the 2024 draft, the Mets will pick 19th, with the Padres at No. 25 and the Yankees 26th. Those last two dropped below the Dodgers, which allowed Los Angeles to move up two spots to 23rd overall.
The Dodgers haven’t drafted this high since 2017, when they picked Jeren Kendall 23rd overall out of Vanderbilt.
We won’t know the Dodgers’ full 2024 bonus pool until the offseason is complete. If they do in fact sign top target Shohei Ohtani, who declined a qualifying offer from the Angels, Los Angeles would forfeit their second- and fifth-highest draft picks next year.
Even if the Dodgers don’t sign Ohtani, or some other qualifying offer free agent like Blake Snell, they likely won’t have a total bonus pool in 2024 as high as they did in 2023, with $7.27 million to spend. The bonus pool is derived from the slot values for every pick in the first 10 rounds. Last year, the Dodgers got compensatory picks after the fourth round for Trea Turner and Tyler Anderson. The total slot values for those two picks — No. 136 and 137 overall — was $942,700.
But what we do know is that drafting 23rd overall will add more money into the pool than picking 36th, as the Dodgers did in 2023.
The slot value for the No. 36 pick in 2023 — which the Dodgers used to select high school outfielder Kendall George — was $2,702,700. Last year’s No. 23 pick slot value was $3,380,900, an increase of $678,200.
By avoiding the third competitive balance tax threshold, the Dodgers didn’t see their own pick drop 10 spots for the first time in three years. And they will draft in a higher spot than they have in seven years. Which gives them a little bit more money to work with when it comes to the 2024 draft.