By Bob Dutton The News Tribune
SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners will an extra pick in the 2015 draft — the third pick after the second round — as a result of the competitive-balance lottery held Wednesday in New York.
The 13 clubs that either play in one of the 10 smallest markets or have one of the 10 lowest revenue pools were eligible for one of six picks after the first round (Competitive Balance Round A).
The seven clubs that didn’t win one of those picks went into a second lottery, along with the Mariners and Minnesota, were eligible for one of six picks after the second round (Competitive Balance Round B).
The Mariners and Minnesota qualified for the second lottery as clubs that currently receive revenue-sharing funds.
One distinguishing characteristic about competitive-balance picks is they can be traded in advance of the draft. Clubs are prohibited from trading regular draft picks.
The Round A winners (in order): Miami, Colorado, St. Louis, Milwaukee, San Diego and Cleveland.
The Round B winners (in order): Cincinnati, Oakland, Mariners, Minnesota, Baltimore and Arizona.
Eligible clubs that failed to get a pick: Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.
It’s a distraction but, yes, right-hander Taijuan Walker is paying attention as his name gets linked to various trade rumors.
“It’s kind of hard not to,” he said. “Especially when you’ve got family and friends always calling and asking … ‘Hey, you going here? You going there?’ That’s tough, but you try to block it out as much as possible.”
Walker said his mom is noticing, too.
“Yeah, she’s the worst,” he said. “I have to call her (and say), ‘Calm down, can’t do anything about it.’”
The non-waiver trading deadline in 1 p.m. Pacific time on July 31.
Make of this what you will but, entering Wednesday, the Mariners ranked fifth in three major computer models in assessing the postseason odds of the 15 American League clubs.
Five clubs make postseason.
In each case, the Mariners ranked behind Oakland, Los Angeles, Detroit and Baltimore. And in each case, they had a reasonable margin over the No. 6 club.
¦ ESPN: 55.8 percent. Behind Oakland (99.5), Los Angeles (92.1), Detroit (77.9) and Baltimore (61.4). Cleveland ranked sixth at 31.3.
¦ Baseball Prospectus: 40.0 percent. Behind Oakland (99.5), Los Angeles (98.6), Detroit (90.4) and Baltimore (63.9). Toronto ranked sixth at 26.9.
¦ Fangraphs: 35.0. Behind Oakland (99.8), Los Angeles (97.8), Detroit (94.6) and Baltimore (64.1). Toronto ranked sixth at 30.9.
Outfielder Dustin Ackley had a single in three at-bats and is 11-for-24 in his last six games. … Lefty reliever Joe Beimel pitched 11/3 scoreless innings. He has allowed one earned runs over 221/3 innings in 26 outings since May 2. … Outfielder James Jones needs one more steal to become the fourth rookie in club history to reach 20. The other three: Ichiro Suzuki (56 in 2001), Phil Bradley (21 in 1984) and Donell Nixon (21 in 1987). … The two starting pitchers Wednesday — Walker (21) and Bartolo Colon (41)— were born 19 years, 81 days apart. That’s the biggest age difference this season for two starters in any game.
It was three years ago Thursday— July 24, 2011— that the Mariners set a franchise record by suffering a 15th straight loss when they fell 12-8 at Boston.
The previous record was 14 losses in a row from Sept. 2-18, 1992.
The 2011 skid hit 17 before the Mariners won 9-2 over the Yankees behind Felix Hernandez on July 27 in New York. The Mariners were .500 (43-43) when the skid started on July 6.
The Mariners open a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at 7:10 p.m. Thursday at Safeco Field. The two teams play seven times in the next 11 days.
Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (8-4 with a 2.95 ERA) will face Baltimore lefty Wei-Yin Chen (10-3 and 4.21) in the series opener. Root Sports will broadcast the game.
The series continues Friday night and Saturday afternoon before concluding Sunday afternoon. After an open date Monday, the Mariners leave for a six-game trip to Cleveland and Baltimore.