Pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel, both 31, were seeking megadeals last offseason.

Instead, a combination of legitimate factors (Kimbrel's shaky second half and Keuchel's diminishing dominance/strikeout total last year) and market forces — implied collusion or big data that says the rate of return on players on the wrong side of 30 is poor, depending on your preference — kept them from signing anywhere.

Another factor, perhaps a tipping point for some teams, was that signing either pitcher was going to cost a high draft pick and international bonus money. That last hurdle, however, was gone as of Monday with the arrival of the draft.

With it the draft pick compensation required to sign Kimbrel and Keuchel has been wiped out per an incredibly dumb rule that — yes, while collectively bargained — creates an incentive to let high-quality players rot on the market for months at a time.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.