MLB and the MLB Players Association are reportedly nearing an agreement for some major changes to this year’s draft.
Sources: MLB & the MLB Players Association have the framework of an agreement that could be finalized as soon as today. Discussed terms on the draft:— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) March 26, 2020
- A draft sometime in July
- Likely 10 rounds, possibly 5
- Bonus deferment: 10% upfront, 45% in July '21, 45% in July '22
According to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, the framework for the agreement would push the draft to July and lower it to ten rounds, or possibly as few as five. An important aspect for owners was cost savings on bonuses in a year when there is no revenue from games. To deal with that, the bonuses would be deferred with 10% coming at signing, 45% coming July 2021 and the final 45% coming in July 2022.
McDaniel also reports that the agreement could put a $10,000 cap on any undrafted free agent signing made outside of the top 10 rounds. If that’s the case, a lot of wild card high school prospects and even collegiate prospects could be pushed to going back to school to wait for a more normal version of the draft. Normally, MLB teams can sign a player for up to $125,000 without penalty outside of the top 10 rounds. They can even use any remaining cap from the first ten rounds to exceed that amount.
Jeff Passan has since updated the story, stating that MLB has the right to shorten the 2020 draft to five rounds.
The draft is currently scheduled to start on June 10. The Milwaukee Brewers would have the 20th overall pick.