The Royals have been awarded the 36th overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft next June as part of the Competitive Balance round, the round after the first round, but before the compensatory picks. The Royals will also have the 18th overall pick in the first round of the draft, and could get draft pick compensation if Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, or Lorenzo Cain leave, meaning they could end up with five of the top 50 picks.
The Competitive Balance Round is a way for MLB to give smaller market teams an advantage to make up for financial imbalances. All teams in the bottom ten in revenue or market size are put in either Round A, after the first round, or Round B, after the second round. Next year, the teams will switch rounds. The Royals chose in Round B last year, so they move up to Round A this year. There is no longer a lottery to determine picks.
Here are the Round A picks:
31. Pittsburgh Pirates
32. Tampa Bay Rays*
33. Baltimore Orioles
34. San Diego Padres
35. Arizona Diamondbacks
36. Kansas City Royals
37. Cleveland Indians
38. Colorado Rockies
39. St. Louis Cardinals
* Compensation for not signing Drew Rasmussen in 2017
Competitive Balance picks are the only draft picks that can be traded. Under the old labor deal, teams could forfeit their first-round picks for signing certain free agents, but that is no longer the case under the new labor deal, so the first-round order will not change. You can find the complete first-round order here.
If the Royals lose any or all of their three big free agents, they will be awarded picks after the Competitive Balance Round. Nine players received Qualifying Offers, which would give those teams draft picks if those players left - Hosmer, Cain, Moustakas, Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis, Carlos Santana, Greg Holland, Alex Cobb, and Lance Lynn. Those picks will also be determined by reverse order of last year’s standings.