Discussion

Mysteries of MLB's new draft format

Updated: June 1, 2012, 8:36 AM ET
By Buster Olney

Major League Baseball's draft begins Monday. After months of preparation, executives will finally get a chance to see the unveiling of mysteries -- which have nothing to do with players' skills.

This is the first year of the negotiated draft slotting system. While the whole thing was theoretically designed to simplify the process and allow teams to take the best available player with their picks, many officials are predicting twists. They expect there will be some holes in the new agreement that will be exploited.

"You've got a lot of smart people working for teams now," said one highly ranked executive, "and I bet they've spent the last six months looking for ways to beat the system."

Some will be breaking the spirit of the new rules, officials predict, and some will be above the law.

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