The Los Angeles Dodgers lost a first-round pick for exceeding the Competitive Balance Tax threshold by over $40 million.
According to MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis, that won't matter in the 2023 MLB Draft. They'll still be able to select a first-round talent with their initial choice at pick No. 36.
Thomas White, the left-handed hurler from Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, is Callis' projected selection for the Dodgers in the Competitive Balance Round A. White is ranked 23rd overall on MLB's big board, but could be one of the big names who slips this year due to either signability concerns or late-spring slippage.
Big arm? High school hurler? Everyone agrees he's talented, but for some reason don't want him? That's been the Dodgers' bread and butter at the tail end of the first round (and below) for years. It shouldn't shock anyone if White becomes the next Maddux Bruns or Bobby Miller.
MLB Mock Draft 2023: Dodgers select lefty Thomas White from the Red Sox backyard?
According to Callis', White's slide is due, in large part, to a lack of consistency, which was highlighted when he spit the bit in front of a large gathering of scouts in a showcase outing in late May.
Late May was ... very recently. That means, even a few weeks ago, he probably wouldn't be available to the Dodgers in this position (there was, in fact, some early buzz about Boston nabbing him out of their own backyard). If the Dodgers like White's arsenal, they'd be wise to hop on him at a relative discount.
MLB foresees a few other options for the Dodgers at this selection: Wake Forest slugger Brock Wilken (third base), Texas right-handed pitcher Tanner Witt, and high school lefty Alex Clemmey. There's precedent for both varietals, of course. It wasn't too long ago that the Dodgers opted for an ACC slugger in Michael Busch, and their propensity for pitching is well known.
Nothing is assured, but it seems clear the Dodgers can still expect top-tier names looking for a big budget to be on the board when they select. Sometimes, it pays to break the CBA.