During the Winter Caravan this past January, I asked Neal Huntington about his philosophy regarding the draft, specifically whether they would be looking to draft someone like Tony Sanchez or someone like Pedro Alvarez. I didn't articulate it very well at the time, but what I really wanted to know was whether they would have taken someone like Pedro and people like Zack Von Rosenberg, Colton Cain, and Trent Stevenson if a superior talent were available at the top of the draft.
The Pirates have spent more money in the draft than anyone else the past two seasons, and are looking at spending $11 million just to sign their first two picks. A lot of people who frequent this site have asked why the Bucs just don't break the bank and spend $15 - $20 million on the draft every year. The very reasonable and probably correct answer has been that if the Royals and Pirates start spending that kind of money on the draft, sooner or later the Yankees and Red Sox will watch them reaping the benefits and then it will be only a matter of time before the big money teams are throwing their money around in both free agency and the draft, negating the Pirates advantage of buying cheap on draft day.
But in reading the chatter here and elsewhere, it really sounds like this draft system is dead as soon as the current collective bargaining agreement runs out. NH basically said when answering my question that the Pirates love this system of drafting. He said that if the system changes of course they will abide by the rules, but as for now they plan on exploiting it to the fullest extent.
At the risk of sounding crazy, what are the chances that NH and FC are essentially saying "Screw it" and are just going to open the purse strings and blow up the record for spending in the draft? If they believe they have an advantage, and the window on that advantage is closing, what's to stop them from milking it for everything it is worth?