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Updated: February 13th, 2014 12:21pm
A list of players drafted with picks it'd cost to sign Stephen Drew

A list of players drafted with picks it'd cost to sign Stephen Drew

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by Derek Wetmore
1500ESPN.com

Free agents like Stephen Drew, Ubaldo Jimenez and others remain unemployed in part because of draft pick compensation required to sign them.

The Twins would forfeit a top-50 draft pick in June to sign Drew to a contract of any length. If he wants an opt-out clause after one year, as has been reported, that draft pick is a steep price to pay.

I wrote on that yesterday and heard back from readers with thoughtful commentary.

One sharp reader, Joe Braga, added an important note: the contract price also would need to be factored when decided to sign Drew.

Essentially, would you prefer to have a draft pick in the Nos. 45-50 range plus tens of millions of dollars saved, or would you want to give up the pick for the right to sign Drew's production?

A quick glance at the list of Twins' draft picks since 2000, and some may think that these picks have relatively low value. That might be true to an extent based on how difficult it is to identify, draft and develop players into Major Leaguers. But examples exist of rock-solid and in some cases Hall of Famers drafted from picks No. 45-50.

To get a sense of what might be available, I looked at the history of MLB Amateur Drafts using Baseball Reference's draft tool. I cherry-picked the best performers for this list. Understand there are far more misses than hits, but I just wanted to illustrate that it's possible to draft value with the pick the Twins would need to forfeit.

Also recognize that the difference between mid-40s numbers is arbitrary. Tom Glavine was drafted No. 47 overall, while Jed Lowrie was drafted No. 45. So it goes in the dart-throwing MLB Draft.

Here's a list of notable players taken in this area of the draft through the years:

 

Pick Number

Player

Draft Year

45

Jed Lowrie

2005

 

Gerald Laird

1998

46

Scott Rolen

1993

 

Jimmy Rollins

1996

 

Yovanni Gallardo

2004

47

Tom Glavine

1984

 

Albert Belle

1987

 

John Candelaria

1972

48

Cal Ripken Jr.

1978

 

Sid Bream

1981

 

Josh Donaldson

2007

49

Carlos Beltran

1995

 

Carney Lansford

1975

 

Jeff Suppan

1993

50

Dennis Eckersley

1972

 

Al Leiter

1984

 

Brian Roberts

1999

 

Adam Dunn

1998

 

Bo Jackson

1982

 

Matt LeCroy

1997

So just because we won't all recognize the name of the prospect taken with the Twins' second round selection, doesn't mean there's no shot at Major League success. He's more likely to fail than to contribute in the Majors.

The question is: Would you prefer to have a later-40s draft choice and Pedro Florimon at shortstop; or Stephen Drew minus the value of the contract minus the draft compensation?

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for 1500ESPN.com. His previous stops include MLB.com and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore
In this story: Pedro Florimon
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