Now that MLB’s abbreviated 2020 draft is in the books, we can move along to the next phase of this one-off amateur signing season. Undrafted amateur players will now be free to sign with any team of their choosing, though they are capped with a signing bonus of $20K. Thus, the setup here presents a fascinating situation for amateur ballplayers and for us, those interested in parsing the ins-and-outs of roster-building. Here we have a unique situation where money will not necessarily be the driving factor for players choosing their first professional team. As players start to sign, we’ll likely hear stories that shed light on player perspective, which could paint an interesting picture of how young players view different franchises around baseball. For now, we’re starting to hear from teams themselves about spending limits for this class of amateur free agents. We’ll use this post to update those strategies as they trickle in…
- The Giants have no apparent limits when it comes to signing amateur free agents now that the draft is completed. John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle provides a primer for this period of amateur free agents, writing, “The process starts at 6 a.m. Sunday, and the Giants will compete with the other 29 teams for the best available talent. But rather than outspending the others, all they can do is try to outsell them and offer appealing opportunities.” Given the Giants’ current position as a team looking to infuse as much young talent as possible, one would expect them to be aggressive in their attempts to add players from this pool. Obviously, more players than usual will be returning to college or committing to school as high school graduates, but given the volatility of the MLB draft under normal circumstances, it’s fair to expect a quality player or two to emerge from this pool of undrafted amateurs.
- The Marlins are planning on limiting their pool of undrafted amateur free agents to 10 signings or less, per Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald (Twitter links). Along with their six drafted players, all of whom are expected to sign, the Marlins can expect an influx of 16 players max.
- Similarly, the Mariners don’t expect to go hog wild with this year’s class of undrafted amateur. Per MLB.com’s Corey Brock, the Mariners’ Scouting Director Scott Hunter said the Mariners will only be signing between five and ten amateur free agents.
- The Royals, meanwhile, are ready to shop, tweets Jeff Rosen of the Kansas City Star. The Royals could be big-time players in this sphere, as they’ve generated some goodwill recently because of their treatment of minor league players. Kansas City might not typically be a major free agent draw, but for amateur players, it’s a different story. The Royals have the opportunity and a long track record of highly valuing their own players. For players looking for their first professional contract, the Royals have a lot to offer. Among other things, they’re ready to be aggressive. GM Dayton Moore has the green light to “sign as many of those guys as we can,” per Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star.