The Tigers will have plenty of time to determine who to select with their first pick in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft.
In the official draft order released by the league Tuesday, the Tigers won’t make a selection until the 91st overall pick. That’s late in the “second” round. There will be 31 picks in the first round, and 30 more in the compensation, or sandwich, round.
Detroit, which advanced to the AL Championship Series in 2011, will have the fifth-to-last selection in the “second” round.
The Tigers forfeited their first-round pick (27th overall) as compensation to the Milwaukee Brewers for signing their slugging first baseman Prince Fielder, a Type A free agent, this offseason.
In baseball, draft picks can not be traded.
This is the third consecutive year the Tigers will be without a first-round pick. They forfeited their 2011 first-rounder to the Red Sox for signing veteran DH/catcher Victor Martinez, and their 2010 first-rounder to the Astros for signing closer Jose Valverde.
The last time Detroit selected in the first 30 picks was ’09, when the ballclub took right-handed pitcher Jacob Turner ninth overall. He now is the organization’s top prospect.
The Astros, Twins, Mariners, Orioles and Royals have the first five picks, respectively. The Cardinals, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Brewers and Red Sox each will pick twice in the opening round.
This year’s draft will be operating under a signifcant new rule, thanks to the new CBA. Teams in the past were given slot “reommendations” by the commissioner’s office when it came to determining bonuses for draft picks, though teams could ignore those and pay more without punishment — except for drawing the ire of Bud Selig — as the Tigers routinely did. Now, though, teams will have a set pool of money to spend that only can be exceeded at risk of paying a tax or even losing future draft picks.
The three-day draft will start at 7 p.m. June 4. It’ll be 40 rounds this year, down from 50.