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The Padres help the Yankees again by signing James Shields

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

James Shields has finally found a home with the San Diego Padres after agreeing to a four-year, $75 million deal in the middle of the night. With this signing, the Padres have unintentionally helped the Yankees for the second time this offseason. Prior to that, they traded for Wil Myers, and as I previously discussed, it was a move that helped New York by getting him out of the AL East and away from Yankee pitching. This time they have helped the Yankees in a different way, one that is less of a sure thing, but could show itself in a few years.

By signing James Shields, the Padres must sacrifice their first-round draft pick as compensation, since the Royals had already extended him a qualifying offer earlier in the offseason. By surrendering their 13th overall draft pick, a spot that is just shy of the top 10 protected picks each year, it moves the Yankees up another spot. Originally sitting at No. 20 in the draft order, the Yankees moved up two spots thanks to the Mets (15th overall) signing Michael Cuddyer and the Blue Jays (17th overall) signing Russell Martin. Sitting at No. 17, the Yankees will now pick 16th in the 2015 MLB Draft. This is why they decided against bringing in someone like Max Scherzer. On top of that, they will also pick 30th overall as compensation for losing David Robertson to the White Sox. The Nationals and Mariners also gave up their first round picks to sign Scherzer and Nelson Cruz, respectively, so the Yankees have really been reaping the benefits of the qualifying offer this offseason.

The draft is never a sure thing, but this will be the team's best position since taking Matt Drews 13th overall in 1993 and one spot better than their 17-overall pick of C.J. Henry in 2005. Obviously neither of those picks bore fruit (though Drews got them Cecil Fielder and Henry somehow helped them get Bobby Abreu), but with recent draft successes, the Yankees should be able to use their position to find the best talent possible. That spot in the draft isn't exactly teeming with talent though, since Brett Lawrie, Nick Swisher, and Lance Berkman are the only players of note taken 16th overall over the last 20 years. More recently, top prospects Touki Toussaint and J.P. Crawford were taken 16th overall in the last two years, so we can expect something of value to come from this. Hopefully.

As we all know, there are no promises when it comes to the draft, but like the Padres did with Wil Myers by getting him out of the AL East, San Diego put the Yankees in a better position to win in the future. Hopefully they can take advantage of this and make everyone pay a few years down the line.