Normally an 85-win team that does not make the playoffs would draft in the middle of the first round the following year.
The New York Yankees are not the normal 85-win team. When they have seasons like 2013 and don't make the playoffs, they spend significantly in an attempt to rectify the problem.
That is what they did following the 2008 season when they spent over $400 million on left-hander CC Sabathia, right-hander A.J. Burnett and first baseman Mark Teixeira.
That is what they did again last winter, when they spent nearly $300 million on center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, designated hitter Carlos Beltran and catcher Brian McCann, moves that cost the Yankees three draft picks.
The 2008 spending spree had a good short-term effect since all three helped the Yankees win their 27th championship in 2009, but at least one player they missed out on might have been able to help this season.
The pick the Yankees forfeited to the Angels for signing Texieira turned into outfielder Mike Trout. The pick forfeited to the Blue Jays for Burnett became pitcher James Paxton, who did not sign and was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round in 2010. The pick forfeited to the Brewers for losing Sabathia turned into outfielder Kentrail Davis, who currently is in Double-A.
Of course, had the Yankees not signed Teixeira and instead drafted Trout, there might not have been a need for the seven-year, $161 million deal they gave Ellsbury.
The Yankees' first pick of this year's draft came at No. 55, in the middle of the second round, and they used it to select left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren out of Mississippi State. Lindgren is a converted starter who was 6-1 with a 0.81 ERA in 26 appearances.
"Jacob has two major league pitches that are above average and possess swing-and-miss quality," said Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees' director of amateur scouting. "He has been extended for multiple innings and holds his stuff consistently."
Lindgren struck out 100 in 55 1/3 innings while issuing 25 walks and holding opponents to a .124 batting average. He also was named as one of five finalists for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award as well as a semifinalist for the Gregg Olson Award, presented to college baseball's breakout player of the year.
Lindgren led the nation with 16.3 strikeouts per nine inning, and he led the Southeastern Conference with a 0.55 ERA in league play and in opponents' batting average (.114) in league games. He was regarded as the 45th-best prospect by national scouting service Perfect Game and the 50th-best prospect by Baseball America.
"Jacob has been very successful in a tough conference and has produced exceptional strikeout numbers," Oppenheimer said. "We are very happy to have selected him."
Selecting Lindgren continues a theme of adding arms, especially relievers, through the draft. New York's top three relievers are David Robertson, a 17th-round pick in 2006; Adam Warren, a fourth-round pick in 2009; and Dellin Betances, an eighth-round selection in 2006.
The selection of Lindgren marks the second straight time the Yankees picked a college player with their first pick. Last year, they selected Notre Dame third baseman Eric Jagielo. He is hitting .256 with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs for Class A Tampa this year.