On April 1, MLB officially informed teams that the 2021 MLB Draft will be 20 rounds.
MLB has informed MLB's teams that the 2021 draft will be limited to 20 rounds.https://t.co/DldQh8MmWa— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) April 2, 2021
The news is confirmation of the expected. In 2020, the Major League Basball Players Association agreed that the draft could be cut to as few as twenty rounds in 2021.
Theoretically, the number of rounds could have been more than twenty, but after the MLBPA agreed to 20 rounds, the decision essentially rested with the owners, who typically want to minimize the amount they spend signing ametuer players. The draft size reduction pairs well with the recent reduction in the number of MLB-affiliated minor league clubs.
Typically, the Draft consists of forty rounds. (Prior to 2012, it was fifty rounds.) The fewest rounds in a draft took place 2020, when it was reduced to five rounds, ostensibly because of economic impact of a season haulted by COVID-19.
According to Craig Caltcaterra of NBC Sports, the amount of money a team stood to save with a draft reduced from forty to five rounds in 2020 was one to two million dollars.
MLB also announced bonus pool amounts for the modified draft. Each team’s pool is based on their spot in the draft, the amount they spent in the last year’s draft, and of course, how many rounds there are.
We now know 2021 MLB Draft bonus pool space.— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) April 2, 2021
Teams with the most space?
1. Pirates -- $14,394,000
2. Tigers -- $14,253,800
3. Rangers --$12,641,000
4. Reds --$11,905,700
5. Orioles --$11,829,300https://t.co/3RXLpC9qO5 pic.twitter.com/IRZsbcMhVv
The average bonus pool amount in 2021 is $8,858,980. The Brewers rank 10th highest bonus pool in the league with $10,063,400. The Pirates have the highest pool amount, $14,394,000. The Astros, at least in part because of penalties from the sign-stealing scandal have the lowest pool amount, $2,940,600.
The Draft will take place July 11-13 as part of All Star Weekend.