Well, there’s going to be a 2020 Major League Baseball draft. But it’s not going to be like the drafts of the past. With so much of the baseball world (and, well, the world itself) in an unknown pattern of “how long is this going to take to get back to some sort of normal?”, the draft itself has been cut down a lot in 2020, and also shortened in 2021. The Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball have agreed to limit the draft this year to as few as five total rounds – but Major League Baseball can expand that if they so choose.
MLB Pipeline came out on Thursday afternoon with the pool amounts for the draft if it were to go 10 rounds. Here’s the breakdown for the Cincinnati Reds.
|Round||Slot||10% due at signing|
Now, I included the 10% due at signing number because that’s how much the team has to pay out this year. The remainder will be split evenly into two future payments due on July 1st of 2021 and July 1st of 2022.
There are two scenarios here. The first would be if the draft remains as it’s set today, at five rounds. That would mean that the Cincinnati draft pool amount would be $8,510,400 – but only have to pay out $851,040 if everyone signed for slot value in 2020. In the other scenario where the draft is extended to 10 rounds, the pool jumps up to $9,508,400 – with the amount due at full pool amount in 2020 of $950,840.
As we covered the other day, any undrafted player can be signed as a free agent – but there’s a big catch. No player signed as a free agent can be given more than $20,000 as a signing bonus. While the number of rounds in the draft is cut, the number of players that are likely to be undrafted free agents very well could be lower than usual, too. Between the low signing bonuses and college baseball offering an additional year of eligibility, it could lead to guys passing up on $20,000 to head back to school. We’ll find out.