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Opening day chances for Jackson Holliday and James Wood boosted by draft pick provision

If Jackson Holliday or James Wood makes an opening-day roster, they may thank a provision in baseball's collective bargaining agreement.

As part of the deal that ended the 2022 lockout, teams and players agreed to add prospect promotion incentive picks to the annual amateur draft. Seattle's Julio Rodríguez in 2022 and Baltimore's Gunnar Henderson and Arizona's Corbin Carroll last year each earned their team an extra selection.

“Gives the teams more of an opportunity, I guess, to put their guys in the big leagues and try to win the Rookie of the Year,” Holliday said Monday during a Zoom news conference ahead of this weekend's Spring Breakout. “It’s a cool concept. Obviously, it’s important for organizations to have lots of draft picks.”

Holliday, a 20-year-old middle infielder, is pushing for a spot on the Orioles' roster, hitting .323 (10 for 31) with one homer and five RBIs in spring training games. A son of seven-time All-Star Matt Holliday, Jackson was the top pick in the 2022 amateur draft.

Wood, a 21-year-old outfielder, is batting .355 with three homers and five RBIs in 14 spring training games with the Washington Nationals. Selected by San Diego with the 62nd pick in 2021, Wood was dealt to the Nats as part of the August 2022 trade that sent Juan Soto to the Padres.

“Teams really value those comp picks,” Wood said. 'It's definitely like a neat little add that they did."

A player is eligible to gain his team an extra pick if he starts the season with less than 60 days of major league service; appears on at least two top 100 prospect lists from among Baseball America, ESPN.com and MLB.com; and then earns a full year of major league service, defined as 172 days or more.

Foreign professionals are excluded from eligibility along with anyone who signs a multiyear contract before his big league debut and players who have been on the restricted list, voluntary retired list, ineligible list or disqualified list for one calendar year or longer.

An eligible player earns his club a pick following the first round if he wins Rookie of the Year or finishes among the top three in Cy Young or MVP voting.

Rodríguez hit .284 with 28 homers, 75 RBIs and 25 stolen bases two years ago, gaining the Mariners the 29th pick last year. Seattle chose Jonny Farmelo, a 19-year-old outfielder also scheduled for the Spring Breakout featuring top prospects.

Carroll batted .285 with 25 homers, 10 triples, 76 RBIs and 54 stolen bases as Arizona reached its first World Series since 2001, earning the Diamondbacks what is slated to be the 31st pick this summer. Henderson hit .255 with 28 homers, 82 RBIs and 10 stolen bases last season, gaining Baltimore the 32nd pick.

There will be 16 games from Thursday through Sunday in the Spring Breakout and most games will be seven innings as part of doubleheaders with Cactus League or Grapefruit League games. Rosters include players who have rookie eligibility — fewer than 130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched or 45 days on an active major league roster.

Paul Skenes, a 21-year-old Pittsburgh right-hander, also is in the Spring Breakout. Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said last week that Skenes will not be on the opening day roster.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb