Perhaps you have already seen this news, but it slid right on by me when it was announced last week. Kiley McDaniel at ESPN and Baseball America’s JJ Cooper and Carlos Collazo all reported that the 2021 Major League Baseball draft would be held on July 11th through July 13th. Not only is the date pushed back from the normal time that’s about a month earlier, the site where the draft will take place is also new this year. For the last decade or so the draft has taken place at the MLB Network studio. In 2021 the draft will take place in Atlanta, which will be hosting the All-Star game on the 13th.
The length of the draft is undetermined. In 2020, with everything going on, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed to shorten the 2020 draft to just five rounds. As a part of that agreement they also agreed that the 2021 draft would be at least 20 rounds, but could be higher. Prior to the 2020 draft, the standard length was 40 rounds. With teams being trimmed from Minor League Baseball beginning in 2021 it wouldn’t be surprising to see the draft also trimmed down from there as there are only so many roster spots available, and each organization is likely to lose at least 70 of them with the elimination of non-complex level rookie league teams.
Both Baseball America and ESPN are reporting that the memo they saw said the draft was expected to be between 20 and 30 rounds. The signing deadline will be August 1st, less than three weeks after the draft will take place.
The same signing bonus stipulations will be in place for the 2021 draft that were present for the 2020 draft. Players will be eligible to get up to $100,000 of their bonus during 2021. The remaining balance due will be paid out the next two July’s – with 50% of that remaining amount paid on July 2nd of 2022 and July 1st of 2023.