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MLB Draft 2023: The Evolution of Tanking in Sports: From the NBA to MLB. MLB Draft 2023 start time, TV channel, live stream, draft order.

MLB Draft 2023 live updates Day 1: Draft order, top prospects, team analysis. Major League Baseball draft 2023.

In January 2015, ESPN shed light on the Philadelphia 76ers’ controversial strategy of intentionally losing games to secure a higher draft pick. This approach, commonly known as “tanking,” sparked debates within the NBA and raised questions about the fairness of the draft system.

Two-and-a-half years later, when the Houston Astros won the World Series, tanking became a topic of discussion in Major League Baseball (MLB).

This article explores the evolution of tanking in sports, from its origins in the NBA to its impact on MLB.

The Rise of Tanking in the NBA

The 76ers and “The Process”

The Philadelphia 76ers’ implementation of “The Process” brought tanking to the forefront of NBA discussions. By deliberately fielding a weak team and accumulating high draft picks, the 76ers aimed to build a competitive roster for the future.

Although the strategy drew criticism from fans and fellow team owners, it ultimately prompted a broader conversation about the draft system’s flaws.

Tanking as a Controversial Practice

The success of the 76ers’ tanking strategy caught the attention of various media outlets, including FiveThirtyEight and Bleacher Report. These publications drew parallels between the 76ers’ approach and the Houston Astros’ subsequent rise to prominence in MLB.

Tanking, once seen as a way for struggling teams to rebuild, began to receive negative attention, with critics arguing that it undermined the integrity of the sport.

MLB’s Encounter with Tanking

Baseball’s Embrace of Tanking

The Houston Astros’ victory in the 2017 World Series, combined with the Chicago Cubs’ win in 2016, seemed to indicate that tanking had infiltrated MLB.

This perception troubled many, as tanking was viewed as detrimental to the overall competitiveness of the league. Critics, including Sports Illustrated, called for changes to the draft system to discourage strategic bottoming out.

Scott Boras and Player Salary Suppression

Agent Scott Boras expressed concern about tanking’s impact on player salaries. He believed that tanking teams limited the market for top free agents, leading to suppressed wages.

The discrepancy between teams actively trying to win and those intentionally losing heightened the tension between players and team owners.

The MLB’s Response to Tanking

MLBPA’s Objectives and Draft Amendments

During collective bargaining negotiations, the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) sought ways to encourage competition and discourage tanking.

Their focus centered on the domestic player draft. After months of deliberation, the MLBPA and MLB reached an agreement that introduced new draft measures aimed at deterring tanking.

The Impact of Draft Lottery Reforms

The new draft measures included an enhanced draft lottery, designed to reduce the incentive for teams to purposely lose games.

The Washington Nationals, who experienced a steep decline after winning the World Series, learned firsthand about these changes when they were awarded the second overall pick instead of the first.

The MLB celebrated the draft lottery reforms as the most comprehensive anti-tanking measures among major professional sports leagues.

Tanking’s Complexity and Limitations

While the MLB draft lottery reforms aimed to curb tanking, the practice itself is not as straightforward as it may seem. Tanking relies on the collective behavior of other teams, making it challenging to sustain as an effective strategy.

Moreover, the impact of a single player, even the top draft pick, is often limited in baseball. Building a successful team requires a combination of strong player development, smart acquisitions, and savvy roster management.

The Current Landscape and Beyond

The Unintended Consequences

Tanking in sports extends beyond merely intentionally losing games. It reflects a complex dynamic influenced by numerous factors, including financial considerations and the shifting focus on long-term success.

The Oakland A’s, previously known for their frugal contention, are now experiencing a historic downturn. Their struggles highlight how a team’s goals and motivations can shape its approach to winning.

Redefining Tanking

Tanking” has become a broad term encompassing teams that prioritize future success over immediate victories.

However, not all struggling teams engage in intentional losing. Some are genuinely rebuilding, while others face challenges due to financial constraints. The current landscape of tanking in sports is multifaceted and often misunderstood.

What time is the MLB Draft 2023 today?

The MLB Draft 2023 will start at 6pm CT on Sunday, July 9th. This year, the draft is being held in Seattle as part of the All-Star Weekend festivities, which adds to the excitement surrounding the event.

When and where is the MLB Draft 2023?

Date: Sunday, July 9th Start Time: 6pm CT | 7pm ET Location: Seattle

How long does the MLB Draft last?

Unlike other professional sports leagues, the MLB Draft 2023 is a multi-day event. It spans over three days, similar to the NFL Draft. However, there is a difference in scheduling. While the NFL Draft takes place over a weekend, the MLB Draft 2023 occurs during the workweek for most fans.

The MLB Draft 2023 will begin on July 9th and conclude on Tuesday, July 11th.

MLB Draft 2023 Order

Here is the draft order for the MLB Draft 2023:

  1. Pittsburgh Pirates: Paul Skenes, RHP, LSU
  2. Washington Nationals: Dylan Crews, OF, LSU
  3. Detroit Tigers
  4. Texas Rangers
  5. Minnesota Twins
  6. Oakland A’s
  7. Cincinnati Reds
  8. Kansas City Royals
  9. Colorado Rockies
  10. Miami Marlins
  11. Los Angeles Angels
  12. Arizona Diamondbacks
  13. Chicago Cubs
  14. Boston Red Sox
  15. Chicago White Sox
  16. San Francisco Giants
  17. Baltimore Orioles
  18. Milwaukee Brewers
  19. Tampa Bay Rays
  20. Toronto Blue Jays
  21. St. Louis Cardinals
  22. Seattle Mariners
  23. Cleveland Guardians
  24. Atlanta Braves
  25. San Diego Padres
  26. New York Yankees
  27. Philadelphia Phillies
  28. Houston Astros
  29. Houston Astros
  30. Seattle Mariners
  31. Seattle Mariners
  32. Tampa Bay Rays
  33. New York Mets
  34. Milwaukee Brewers
  35. Minnesota Twins
  36. Miami Marlins
  37. Los Angeles Dodgers
  38. Cincinnati Reds
  39. Oakland Athletics

Please note that this information is accurate as of the time of writing and is subject to change. Stay tuned for any updates or adjustments to the draft order.


Tanking has evolved from a controversial strategy employed by the Philadelphia 76ers to a broader phenomenon across professional sports leagues.

In the NBA, tanking sparked debates about draft system fairness, while MLB faced criticism for compromising the competitiveness of the sport. While recent draft reforms aim to address tanking, its complexities and limitations make it a challenging issue to resolve entirely.

The impact of tanking on player salaries, team dynamics, and the overall fan experience continues to be a subject of debate.


1. Is tanking limited to the NBA and MLB?

Tanking is not exclusive to the NBA and MLB. It has been observed in various sports leagues worldwide, although the strategies and motivations may differ.

2. How does tanking affect player salaries?

Tanking can suppress player salaries by limiting the market for top free agents. When fewer teams actively compete for their services, players may face reduced bargaining power.

3. Can tanking guarantee success for a team? T

anking is not a foolproof path to success. While securing top draft picks can provide a competitive advantage, building a winning team requires a combination of factors, including effective player development, smart acquisitions, and solid team management.

4. Are there ongoing discussions to address tanking in professional sports?

Leagues and players’ associations continually explore measures to discourage tanking and promote competitive balance. Draft reforms, such as enhanced lotteries and anti-tanking measures, are examples of recent efforts to address the issue.

5. How does tanking impact the fan experience?

Tanking can negatively affect the fan experience, as supporters of struggling teams endure prolonged periods of losing. It may lead to a decline in attendance and engagement if fans feel their team is not genuinely striving to win.