2009 Draft: Oh yeah, the Yanks had a ‘budget’


Earlier this spring we found out from scouting director Damon Oppenheimer that he was given an actual budget to work with during this year’s draft, which promptly caused mass panic because, as we all know, the Yankees should have an unlimited budget for everything. Well, after last night’s last minute signing of 44th rounder Evan DeLuca for $500,000, the Yanks have spent at least $6.185M on this draft, and that doesn’t include the likely six-figure bonuses given to 12th rounder Brett Gerritse, 13th rounder DeAngelo Mack, and 14th rounder Graham Stoneburner among others. It’s not difficult to envision a scenario where the Yanks spent $7M on this draft.

$7M on one draft class is a ton of money, but just how much? The epiphany draft of 2006 – the one that landed Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Zach McAllister, Mark Melancon, David Robertson and Dellin Betances – cost $6.7M. Just seven clubs spent more than that last year, and almost all of them had to shell major bucks out to top ten picks. By no means did the Yankees go cheap this year.

Categories : Asides, Draft


  1. YankeeFan says:

    Yanks got a nice haul in his draft. Would it have been nice to add a Lyons or a Thompson? Sure but they still got a ton of quality players.

    Hey Mike, so is Brooks going to be a reliever within the Yankees organization? If so, he may be a quick riser through the system as long as he limits his walks and he seems to have progressed on his control recently.

    Also do you think Stoneburner comes in here as a starter or a reliever? LM seems to talk him up as a closer-type.

  2. A.D. says:

    So yesterday they got:

    Talecrio? (only saw it on Nomass with no money amount)

    • leokitty says:

      BA has Talerico marked as being signed as well and I assume they have sources outside of NoMaas (though NoMaas’s source was Talerico/Oppenheimer anyway).

      Dollar amounts will start to leak over the next few weeks.

  3. And interestingly, Matt Purke, one of the guys we all wanted, wouldn’t bite on the 4M offer the Rangers gave him.

    Perhaps we lucked out that he didn’t fall to us…

    • J.R. says:

      Yeah they just got Cole’d

    • leokitty says:

      I think the Rangers drafted both Purke & Scheppers kinda knowing they’d only be able to get one. Purke didn’t work out, they get a compensation pick next year and can go deal with Scheppers now.

      I mean of course they didn’t know that Scheppers would be around for their second pick, but they did know the risk of Purke (and that risk would have made the Yankees pass on him even if he had fallen).

    • You know, I remember reading, like, a day or a few days before the draft, that Purke was a major risk to not sign. Assuming, hypothetically, that would have been the reason for him to drop to the Yanks, he probably just wasn’t in the cards for the Yanks this year, anyway, considering the risk the Yanks would be taking with the Cole-compensation pick.

      So yeah… Not disagreeing with you at all, you’re right… The Yanks probably lucked out in that they never had to make a decision on Purke. I just kinda doubt they would have called his name anyway, no matter how amped up we as fans were about the kid.

      (PS: Welcome back from your break, hope you had a good time.)

      • I did, thanks, bro.

        Hope I didn’t miss the long-rumored and probably not going to happen RAB game meetup.

        Speaking of which, the Saturday, August 29th matinee against the White Sox sounds like a lovely day to go to the ballpark, people. Hint, hint.


  4. This is going to be the draft for the Yanks that pushes MLB toward a true slotting bonus agreement and not a recommended slot bonus system. It’ll become a real issue in 2011, and outside of the Yanks, I think the clubs and the players will agree to it.

    • But the MLBPA uses every single issue as a bargaining chip, as it probably should. So, if you’re Bud Selig and you want a rookie wage scale like the NBA, what are you willing to give up in return for that?

      A salary floor? The elimination of free agent compensatory picks?

      • Chris says:

        I’m not sure whether the draft is covered under the collective bargaining agreement. I was under the impression that MLB could unilaterally impose a slotting system because none of the players are union members – and since they almost all go to the minors after being drafted, they won’t immediately become union members.

        • Well, the NBA rookie wage scale is in their CBA. I imagine that if the league put in a cap unilaterally, the union would take them to court and win.

          You’re going to have to do this by bargaining with players and owners together.

          • Chris says:

            The NBA is different. All of the rookies are union members. You’re not a member of the MLBPA unless you are on the 40-man roster. That certainly includes some draftees, but very few.

            • Okay, thanks. Good point.

              However, the Basic Agreement that expires in 2011 included the draft in it via the Free Agent Draft Pick Compensation system. The fact that teams exchange picks for signing/losing union members currently puts the draft under the purview of the CBA, I believe. So the league still can’t implement a slotting system without collectively bargaining it, because the precedent has been set.

            • TSJC’s point above is probably right, but it’s also pretty clear that the draft falls under the purview of the CBA simply because MLB hasn’t already instituted a hard draft slotting system. What I mean is… Clearly they would have instituted such a system already, if it was in their sole discretion whether to or not. So, since they haven’t, I think it’s safe to conclude that they can’t.

              I’m sure there’s some sort of latin term for that type of argument, can’t think of it.

              • Chris says:

                I don’t know that they would have. Certainly there are teams that would like to see it, but considering that almost every team goes significantly over slot for at least one draftee, there’s no guarantee that it would be approved by the owners.

                • Eh, now we’re getting into procedural matters. Who knows what sort of owner-approval MLB would need for a move like this. Maybe Bud could, if it’s an MLB decision, make the call on his own whim, or maybe he’d need some sort of vote.

                  Let me put that argument another way – We’ve never heard of MLB even attempting to make this change unilaterally (i.e. trying to gain the owners’ approval, etc.), which leads me to believe MLB cannot take this action acting unilaterally. And I would imagine that, if this were a case where owner approval was necessary, the owners would approve, anyway. Always follow the money… This would save the owners a lot of money.

              • JMK says:

                I think that would qualify as post hoc ergo propter hoc. The temporal succession implies a casual relation. It may in fact be true, but the fact that it hasn’t happened certainly doesn’t mean it can’t.

                I could be wrong. TSJC, as I recall, is the fallacy and Latin guru. He might know.

                • JMK says:

                  I knew studying for the LSATs for 11 months would come in handy!


                  If you don’t mind me asking, what line of work are you in?

                • “I knew studying for the LSATs for 11 months would come in handy!”

                  Dude, if you knew how to identify a “post hoc ergo propter hoc” argument from studying for the LSAT, then you studied way too hard for that test. lol. Seriously… Once upon a time I taught the freaking LSAT prep course, and I don’t know that term off the top of my head. You are a brobot logic robot.

                • You are a brobot logic robot.


                  JMK – I’m in civil service/public policy. Law and government wonk. Not a lawyer, but the son of two of them.

                  So, I was raised by wolves.

                • JMK says:

                  Hey, thanks for the compliment. I’m not so sure though. I was looking to get into Columbia or NYU, but I didn’t get in (168, 170 the second time through). Perhaps I should have studied longer. As it stands, I’m looking into doing a joint program of law at BLC and an MUP at Hunter. Do you know anything about this or have any recommendations for other programs? I haven’t made any final decisions yet but could really use some good advice.

                • I assume you meant BLS instead of BLC? I really wish I had some advice for you, but I didn’t look at any of the programs it sounds like you’re interested in and, on top of that, I didn’t even go to school in NYC. I apologize in advance for putting him on the spot, but I think Ben might know more about those programs than I would. Good luck with everything, though.

                • JMK says:

                  Yes, I meant BLS. I’m starting to space out a bit. No need to apologize, I appreciate you taking the time to comment. And thank you, I wish you the best in your endeavors as well.

      • Drew says:

        Salary floors are bad news. As much as I’d like to force teams like the Marlins to pay guys, it’s just not right.

      • cult of basebaal says:

        Compensation picks would be a MLBPA concession, since it would eliminate the mechanism by which the draft is covered by the CBA.

    • J.R. says:

      If there is a true slotting system implemented do you think Strasburg would have gone to Japan?

      Go there, get paid more, and then enter as a free agent later?

      • No, you’d have to include a worldwide draft as well. No way to get around the rookie wage restrictions.

        Bye bye, IFA July 2nd signings.

        • leokitty says:

          Teams themselves probably don’t want to get rid of the July 2nd signings because other than the absolute top talent it’s very cheap for them. The WSJ just wrote about this very topic, actually.

        • Chris says:

          You can renounce your citizenship and become a foreign citizen.

          The biggest problem would be where you would pitch while not in MLB. You could go to Japan, but then you’d be subject to the posting requirements, which are no better than the draft.

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

          A World Wide Draft would be a logistics nightmare.

          • Agreed.

            But, if a rookie wage scale was in place and Stephen Strasburgh knew going in that he was only gonna get a 925k signing bonus from the hapless Washington Nationals, he probably would have gone to Japan for a year and then sold himself to the Yankees for 25M up front.

            The first time someone does that, the Pirates, Jays, Reds, Mariners, and Padres will be beating down Selig’s door for a worldwide draft. Every conceivable loophole needs to be closed, or don’t bother closing any of them.

            • Chris says:

              I don’t think he could have done that. If he plays in Japan, then he becomes subject to the posting process like Dice-K.

              • A.D. says:

                He can do the Soriano, and “retire” in Japan.

              • younguns says:

                No, you can avoid the posting procedure in Japan by playing in their independent industrial league, which is similar to the U.S. independent league which Aaron Crow spent the last year pitching in.

                Junichi Tazawa of the Red Sox is an example of this. The Sox signed him to their minor league system without having to post anything, & Tazawa’s only 22 years old.

            • Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

              First of all, they need to be able to trade drafted players. Secondly, do like the NBA does, if you are drafted by a team, that teams retains your rights from year to year.

              • K.B.D. says:

                Isn’t that like the old draft and follow that was eliminated in the last CBA?

                • Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

                  I’m not talking about a draft and follow, like Larry Bird, but once you’re drafted and you don’t go back to school and you play professionally in Japan or the independent leagues or whatever, then the team that drafts you retains your rights in MLB from year to year, until you are either signed, traded to another MLB team or your rights are recinded.

              • Zack says:

                Well technically you can trade drafted players, just need to clear that 6 month window.

            • JMK says:

              Wouldn’t there still be a posting fee if he went to Japan?

    • A.D. says:

      In some ways it will hurt and some ways the Yankees can still benefit. If money is locked in (or a very narrow band) then it means the only draw a team can have over another is the actual team, the Yankees mystique can be a draw, and you hear it from some of these guys already, of course dollars + mystique is better but, they’re better off than a team that only had dollars.

    • Bo says:

      If thats a battle owners want to fight the players will rake them over the coals on more important issues.

      Lets be honest. 7 mill for a draft per team isnt a lot of money.

  5. leokitty says:

    What I learned this year though is that I hate budgets even when they are not personal.

    A lot of teams spent a ton of money this year. Interesting to see (this is first ten rounds):

    Sure the Padres, Mariners and Nationals are extremely top heavy but the Tigers and Pirates really spread a lot around. I was also impressed by the A’s, very aggressive this year.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

      It’s good to see the smaller market teams spend their revenue sharing money on the draft instead of pocketing it.

      • Yup.

        I truly, genuinely, sincerely want the Royals, Pirates and Nationals to be good again, and soon. It sucks to have teams that suck for a generation. That’s just a shame.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

          Pirates are my “B” team.

          Big Honus Wagner fan.

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

          I do too. And guess what small market teams? If you are actually competitve, people show up to your games. Then, they spend money, which in turn, makes you more money. It’s like a vicious circle, except in a good way, a dasiy chain if you will.

          • JMK says:

            It really is a shame. I’ve been to a few Pirate games and the stadium is beautiful. But the team is terrible and the fans that do show up consider it more of a social gathering. With a competitive club fans would show up and not just to have a Yuengling and chat about their kids’ progress in school. There really is great potential. If anyone wants to point fingers here, look at the owners.

          • It’s like a vicious circle, except in a good way, a daisy chain if you will.

            Pat, is that you?

    • younguns says:


      The Mess spent only $1,864,300 on their top 10 picks, with 3 out of the top 10 failing to be signed.

      And Mutts fans wanna know why My Entire Team Sucks!?!?

      Way to go, Omar & Tony Bernazard!!!

  6. Billy says:

    i don’t want a true draft slotting system because i think it could eventually lead to salary cap

  7. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    Here’s an interesting water cooler question though: Should the Yankees spend this much for the draft.

    We all know, are at least have made the well educated guess, hat the Yankees had a budget this year during the trade deadline. What if our draft budget were smaller (I have no idea what small is for a draft budget, so someone else is gonna have to come up with that figure). Could we have done more at the deadline? And would that have been the right move?

    I’m not taking a position either way, just pointing out the idea.

    • Mattingly's Love Child says:

      I’m pretty sure they are 2 different budgets. Granted that eventually you can trace the money back to one place. Therefore, I’m pretty sure that a smaller draft budget would not have made any difference on the major league roster moves at the deadline.

      The Yankees have to spend what they do because they are always in the lowest part of the draft, so they have to buy up all of the talented players that drop because of salary demands. They can’t get those types of players in a usual, slotted system.

      I’d love for the Yankees to get comparable talent for less money, but that would mean the team would have to suck for a while. Something I would very much like to not experience again.

    • The Fallen Phoenix says:

      To answer your hypothetical, if they were not separate budgets, I’d err on the side of making the amateur draft budget larger, because it’s a more efficient (long-term) expenditure of resources.

    • A.D. says:

      They spent 6M – 7M on the draft, how much could they have cut that down by and still had a draft that isn’t going to kill the system going forward….maybe 3M, maybe. So they have an extra 3M at the deadline, that gets them basically nothing, still aren’t going to take on Arroyo/Harang salary, and money wasn’t the issue for Cliff Lee, Washburn, Halladay, or King Felix.

      Realistically spending more in the draft in the past could have helped them this deadline by having some redic haul of prospects to ship off for a stud while not depleting the farm.

      Spending on quality drafts is more important since its a backbone both for trading for players when needed & being able to prevent blowing money on overpriced veterans to fill roles, either as starters or back-ups.

      Think how much the Yankees are able to save this year because of the fact some kids have emerged as decent bullpen pitchers. D-Rob, Coke & Melancon combined make less than Jose Molina.

  8. Stryker says:

    as much as we all say the system has to change, at what cost do you think an overhaul of the current structure take? if you mess with one facet of it, in return you seemingly have to change everything. does that include adding a salary floor rather than a salary cap? who knows. i, personally, think the system works fine.

    so what if the yankees spent a significant amount of money? they’re in a position as an organization where they won’t get top talent. so they spend money taking risks on guys that have similar talent but fall for whatever reason. take a look at this year’s draft. a sizable chunk of what the yankees spent this year the padres spent on ONE player.

    • Mattingly's Love Child says:

      I’m not sure how many changes can really be made to the system. I think you’re right that you make one change and it impacts 2 or 3 other things. You change those and then you have to change other things.

      The best way for the system to change is for teams like the As, Marlins, Pirates to spend their revenue sharing handouts on developing players instead of padding their bottom line. It was great to see the As and Pirates do that this year. More teams need to do likewise.

    • Sam says:

      Right, I don’t understand how the current system doesn’t help out smaller market teams in the draft. Pump revenue sharing money into the draft and boom, you have a good farm system which lets you not only grow your own farm team but then trade for the complementary pieces you need. In no other sport can you acquire as much or as little talent as you feel like paying for.

      • The problem is attrition rate.

        So few picks ultimately pan out. The difference between a 4M draft class and a 20M draft class may be negligible, because so many of these kids are longshots and so many of them flame out with injury.

        So, you can double or triple your draft budget and still end up with the same result. Or even a worse one.

        • A.D. says:

          Yeah, I think when anyone says pump up the money, they’re assuming you’re going to increase your attrition rate, by having a higher quality product to start with. This should be true to an extent as long as you’re spending money wisely, and not just spending money because you have a 20M budget and want to use it.

          The key is having a good budget and being smart, the problem is outside of the top picks nothing is really a blue chip, teams would spend on the Ackley/Wallace/Smoaks of the world all they could but they’re generally not available, at least as low downside college vets in the signability ranks.

  9. V says:

    $7M for what probably amounts to at least 1-2 future major leaguers, for 3 CHEAP major league seasons and 3 arbitration years, vs one fringy Major League player for 1 year (really, who can you normally get on the open market for $7M?)?

    How is $7M for a draft class insane? How have the owners so successfully won this battle for the media and the fans?

    • V says:

      Of course, the MLBPA doesn’t give a **** about amateurs, since they aren’t in the union yet.

      The NFL and NBA do not have anti-trust exemptions like MLB. I’d be interested to find out what happens to those exemptions if MLB attempts to push the hard slotting item.

      • I’d be interested to find out what happens to those exemptions if MLB attempts to push the hard slotting item.

        It may come down to a Supreme Court decision handed down by Justice Sonia “No, Bud Selig, you can’t unilaterally change the CBA during this work stoppage and bring in replacement players” Sotomayor.


        • JMK says:

          I doubt that. Sotomayor is Hispanic, which means she’s “lazy”. She’d never hear the case.

          • As a result, she’d only write a 1-paragraph opinion.


            • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

              mmm…i’m bad at both the supreme court and hispanics…i thought only dominicans were lazy? my puerto rican friend works like a madman and always wants to fight–sss or what?

              anyway, on a serious note, i’m having a hard time seeing how any changes that are made will be for the betterment of the Ynaks. Natinals, maybe, but not the Ynaks.

              even worse, if anything actually has to go all the way to the SC would be bad for baseball…i see lots of ‘bastard rich owners’ and ‘money-grubbing whores who play a game for a living’ epithets being bandied about, and thats just not good for our game…

  10. Reggie C. says:

    a worldwide draft would prevent the Yanks from ever landing a Jesus Montero caliber amateur. though it’d likely keep the RS away from Hanley types too. i enjoy July 2, & i hope its never ruined.

  11. Jake H says:

    Why I would love the Yanks to sign more players even when they didn’t have a budget they didn’t go broke on players.

  12. Reggie C. says:

    IF anything our Yanks are trying to keep up with the Tigers who coughed up 6.2 million on 1 HS pitcher. lets hope the budget gets increased in 2010.

  13. Bo says:

    They should do away with the draft and let these kids actually put their services on the free market. Strasburg would have walked away with 100+mill. Why should Chapman be allowed to and not US born kids?

    • I agree, the discrepancy there is unfair.

      Something must be done about this. What must be done is the exact opposite of your proposal. The draft shouldn’t be eliminated; international free agency should be eliminated.

      The MLB has a vested interest in keeping all its teams relatively competitive. The draft has increased parity. It’s not the problem.

      • Zack says:

        Seriously. How does eliminating the draft make any sense? Yeah sure Yankees can buy all the prospects, but thats lame

  14. JSquared says:

    DeLuca felt that since it was the 44th round, he would go to San Diego State and get drafted higher, Yankees reached down and paid him the dough.

    6’1 195 Lbs. With a 4 Seam, 2 Seam, Cutter, Slider and Changeup, sounds like a good investment.

    I Just want to see all of these signed players play soon.

  15. dkidd says:

    i just want to say this is the most informed and intelligent thread i’ve ever read

    i’ve been a baseball/yankee fan for forever but his site has taught me a ton about the mechanics of putting a roster together. you people are geniuses!

  16. Januz says:

    I found the BA piece on the total bonuses given for the top 10 rounds facinating. On the negative side, it has the METS right on the bottom with $1,864,000 While the Yankees are near the middle in 14th place, spending $4,760,000. Boston spent $1,000,000 more to end up in 11th place. This is pathetic for a New York team.
    I actually found the Yankee numbers very misleading bacause of the large amount that was spent on Mitchell, DeLuca, Gerritse, Mack and Stoneburner was not included (I am willing to bet that those five cost OVER $2,500,000 (We know the number is $1,300,000 for Mitchell and DeLuca)). When all is said and done, the final number will be somewhere around $8,000,000, for 27 players.

    • crawdaddie says:

      If the Yankees had a 3rd round pick, they might have spent about the same as the Red Sox or better yet taken David Renfroe ahead of them.

    • leokitty says:

      Mets being low should be no surprise, they are very much about bargains in the Rule 4 draft and don’t go overslot.

      I don’t find the information misleading at all, it’s just the first ten rounds, nor do I find it pathetic that the Yankees rank so low in that dataset given how the system currently works. Teams that are not the Yankees do most of their work in the top 10 or so, and that’s why it’s interesting to see the A’s fork out 1.5 million for Max Stassi and the Tigers go gung-ho on pitching talents like Turner.

    • younguns says:

      You hit the nail right square on the head, Januz… the Mets are pathetic.

      But, anyhow, what would would expect from an organization which blindly conforms to the recommended draft bonus slotting system while playing in the biggest market in baseball?

  17. Andy says:

    Can we get a list of guys the Ynaks DIDN’T sign that we wish they would have? Lyons, Meade, anyone else?

  18. Januz says:

    There is no question that it was Aplin, Bruno and Stiles in that order. I am not upset that they did not sign Lyons and Meade (They obviously preferred Mitchell to both of them). I still do not know if they could have signed any of the three if they had more money available. Or did the cost of Heathcott and Murphy prevent that? My gut feeling was Bruno was unsignable.

  19. viridiana says:

    “Don’t worry, Selig will do what’s best for the Red Sox. He always has.”

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend, figures Bud. He is truly obsessed with the Yankees. And that’s not a casual observation.

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