Major League Baseball has established the bonus pools for all 30 teams and the slot values for every pick in the first 10 rounds of the 2022 amateur draft, MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis reports. This year’s draft is set to take place July 17-19, coinciding with All-Star week in Los Angeles.
While the new collective bargaining agreement made some changes to the draft’s operations (most notably the lottery that begins in 2023), the basic structure of the bonus pools and slotting system remains intact. As a refresher, each team receives a bonus pool to cover selections from the draft’s first 10 rounds, and each draft placement within those ten rounds has an assigned price attached to it. Teams are free to sign players for above or below those assigned slot prices, as long as the total price tag of those signings doesn’t exceed the value of their bonus pool.
The bonus pool limit isn’t a hard cap, as teams are allowed to exceed their bonus pool, but with increasingly punitive costs. A club must pay a 75 percent tax on any overage of between 0-5 percent of a draft pool, and many teams routinely pay this relatively minor penalty. However, since the institution of the bonus pool system, no team has overspent its pool by more than five percent, as doing so would require a 100 percent overage tax and (of far more import) the loss of a future first-round pick. Spending beyond the 10 and 15 percent thresholds lead to the loss of multiple picks, and it seems hard to fathom any club would ever absorb such a steep penalty.
The 2022 draft marks the first time in three years that slot prices have risen, as due to the pandemic, the league and the MLB Players Association agreed to freeze slot prices for the 2020 and 2021 drafts. The first overall spot of this year’s draft (held by the Orioles) has an $8,842,200 slot price, a bump above the $8,415,300 assigned price for the first pick in the 2021 draft.
Here are the bonus pools for all 30 teams…
- Orioles: $16,924,000
- Diamondbacks: $15,112,100
- Mets: $13,955,700
- Pirates: $13,733,900
- Rockies: $13,660,700
- Royals: $11,668,300
- Nationals: $11,007,900
- Reds: $10,794,100
- Marlins: $10.486MM
- Cubs: $10,092,700
- Padres: $10,088,900
- Twins: $10.036MM
- Guardians: $9,980,900
- Rangers: $9,640,700
- Blue Jays: $8,367,700
- Athletics: $8,315,800
- Red Sox: $8,078,300
- Tigers: $8,024,900
- Braves: $8,022,200
- Rays: $7,795,100
- Mariners: $7,254,400
- Brewers: $7,070,900
- Angels: $7,024,300
- Cardinals: $6,842,300
- Astros: $6.837MM
- Yankees: $6,425,100
- Phillies: $6.307MM
- White Sox: $6,289,100
- Giants: $5,793,200
- Dodgers: $4,221,400
There’s no way the Orioles spend all that money. They’ll go cheap.
With the slot system, there’s no such thing as going cheap in the draft.
Not that facts are important with everybody pitching their own narratives nowadays, but the O’s spent their entire pool of draft money in 2021. But you keep working the “O’s are cheap” angle if it makes you feel good.
No team ever spends less than their alloted draft bonus pool money.
I wish teams could trade picks for the first 10 rounds.
Yep. It would certainly make for a more fun and exciting draft.
It’s also way more complicated because baseball players routinely choose to go back to college & the complications of slot value.
Cool in theory though.
That is why players should have to declare for the draft. I realize that agents use the threat of going back to college or going to college in general as a negotiating ploy, but would solve one of the biggest hurdles in draft day trading.
Or just protect the picks for the first five rounds. If a team owns a pick and that player doesn’t sign, they get it next year.
This is one of the many reason why there is so little buzz about the draft. The NFL has a draft day trade every 15 minutes. Even if the MLB draft is a bit of a crapshoot, just knowing the the NYY, for example, traded their #1, #2, and #3 to move up 10 slots in the 1st round, will get people interested.
I’d suggest that the biggest reason few non-baseball people pay attention to the MLB draft is even the very, very, very best of draft prospects is at least 2 to 3 years away from reaching the Majors. It’s quite rare to see a player drafted one year and he’s with the big club the following season or the season after that.
Absolutely. Or, a team could trade those picks for a current major leaguer to improve the club. It would be lots of fun.
That’s true, but trading makes drafts interesting television. Even if the players are years away, it’s fun to hear the analysis of why the trade happened and who the team wanted.
Only for people that are familiar with the players in the draft. And they dig it, already.
Trading picks won’t make it enjoyable for soeone with no interest in A Tennessee/LSU game.
I wish third day trades were permitted. You want my moderately useful Triple-A catcher to help you through an injury period? Send me your 18th Round pick next July.
I think late round trades would be hard just because the draft is moving so fast at that point.
Cardinals love this plus the competitive balance pick.
Huh, Cards no longer have a competitive pick which is why 23 teams have more money to spend
MLB should allow teams to trade draft picks. It would make trades more interesting and open up more excitement for the deadline.
It would also shorten tank/rebuilds.
John Rocker Fan Club
The MLB draft is nothing like the other sports drafts and trading picks wouldn’t really work. Players can choose to go back to college or go to their committed schools, and the slot value and team bonus pools would be a hassle that would complicate things.
So have players declare for the draft if they want to be drafted and that forfeits them going back to college if they are drafted.
John Rocker Fan Club
That would lead to only college juniors and seniors getting drafted, as well as many receiving lowball offers unless they’re a top 10 pick.
It works in the NFL.. and it would get more kids to go to college and further their skill… and the only kids that should be skipping college to go straight to the league are no-doubt studs.
John Rocker Fan Club
Oh it would work if it were more like the NFL or NBA draft. It’s just the current MLB draft is so different it’d need a complete overhaul and I don’t think the owners really care much to change it.
You can’t legally bind someone from changing their minds to going back to college over playing baseball.
You can take away their NCAA playing eligibility though, and that was the point.
I think you’re overcomplicating it.
Team A: Trades Star Player to Team B for the first and second round picks.
Draft day comes and if the player is picked and decides to go back to school, then the team gets another pick in the same drafting slot in next year’s draft, which may provide them multiple picks in the first round if all works out. This would reduce the rebuild schedule for most teams and provide more opportunities for teams to get creative with trades.
Trading picks with the pre-set slot values wouldn’t be an obstacle at all. If you trade the pick, the allotment of money goes to the team taking on your draft pick.
Slot value would stick with the pick. Teams would recoup lost picks the next year for the first 3-5 rounds.
It’s not hard to make work.
Stupid system is stupid.
I don’t understand. How does the cash pool affect things ?
Do the teams with lower pools to have to temper their expectations on who they draft, because the player could reject the $ they offer them ?
all in the suit that you wear
Each draft pick of rounds 1-10 has a dollar amount assigned to it. The higher the pick, the higher the dollar amount. A draft pick does not have to sign for the dollar amount, but can sign for more or less. Each team’s dollar amounts are totaled up to get their bonus pool cap number. If a player does not sign, the dollar amount for that pick is no longer available for use and is subtracted from the team’s bonus pool cap.
Bonus Pool Cap Rules: If a club exceeds its Bonus Pool Cap: (1) by 0-5%, it will be charged a 75% tax on the excess; (2) by 5-10%, it will pay the same tax and will also lose its first round pick next season; (3) by 10-15%, it will be charged a 100% tax on the excess and lose its first and second round picks next season; and (4) by more than 15%, 100% tax on the excess and lose its next two first round picks. Teams can spend up to $150,000 on rounds 11-20 without it counting towards the bonus cap. Any bonus above $150,000 comes out of the cap.
Thanks. I think I’ve got it. The bonus pull amounts listed are the sum of the slot values of the teams draft picks.
Joe It All
The MLB draft is what it is. It will never generate the kind of excitement of the NFL draft or NBA draft because most people don’t watch college baseball or have a clue about the top high school players who are available. Allowing teams to trade picks would in no way generate the interest in the draft that some on here would like to believe. Most kids drafted who do make it to the major leagues are three or four years away from playing at the MLB level so you can’t generate the same buzz of excitement of seeing your pick playing on the big league club that year. You can make all the changes to the draft you want but it will never become a highly viewed event.
Could somebody please explain why the Nationals have a smaller bonus pool than the Mets after finishing behind them in the standings? Oh, wait – They have extra money for failing to sign Kumar Rocker last year, right?
How do the reds have more money than what the Dodgers