2012 Draft: Slot values for top ten rounds

Pettitte carries Yanks to win over Reds
Game 40: Follow Up

The amateur draft is a little more than three weeks away right now, and we know the new Collective Bargaining Agreement has imposed strict spending restrictions that figure to change the way clubs operate. The Yankees have been allotted $4,192,200 for their eleven picks in the top ten rounds, including $1.6M for their first rounder (#30 overall). Any money in excess of $100k given to a player drafted after the tenth round counts against the draft pool as well.

The penalties for exceeding the draft pool are pretty harsh, including a tax on the overage and forfeiture of future picks. They really don’t want teams spending on amateurs, it seems. Baseball America recently published a list of slot values for the top ten rounds of the draft, which breaks down like so for the Yankees…

Round Pick Slot
1 30 $1,600,000
2 89 $548,400 for 2011 unsigned 2nd rounder, LHP Sam Stafford
2 94 $507,800
3 124 $378,000
4 157 $275,000
5 187 $205,900
6 217 $154,400
7 247 $141,000
8 277 $131,700
9 307 $125,000
10 337 $125,000

If a team does not sign a player, they can not use that pick’s money elsewhere. So the Yankees won’t be able to just not sign say, their fifth rounder and use that $205,900 on other players. They can game the system a little but, most notably by selecting some low-cost college seniors — they usually sign for bonuses in the $1k-$20k range — and using the savings elsewhere. If they take college seniors with their ninth and tenth rounders and pay them $25k each, they’ll have an extra $200k to spend on other players. The Yankees can also exceed their draft pool by $209,610 (5%) before the penalties kid in.

The slot values themselves are not low at all, in fact they’re actually larger than recent years (at least for the first few rounds). The problem is the restrictions and penalties; the inability to exceed slot for one player without having to skimp elsewhere. It stinks, but that’s the system they decided to put in place.

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Pettitte carries Yanks to win over Reds
Game 40: Follow Up
  • Tyrone Sharpton

    what about the 11th round? do the restrictions end after round 10?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Picks after the tenth round are capped at $100k. Anything spent in excess of that counts against the draft pool.

      • Tyrone Sharpton

        damn that prob means a lot of HS seniors will be heading to college now..

        • Bo Knows

          and a lot of two sport athletes choosing the non baseball sport.

          • TomH

            What’s the point of these restrictions again? Rozellification, i.e., parity?

            • JohnnyC

              Cost control, certainty. It’s short-sighted since high schoolers will choose college. Selig is banking on college draftees having less leverage but some better athletes will simply go to other sports. I would think they’d be smart enough to help colleges give out more baseball scholarships going forward.

              • Ted Nelson

                “It’s short-sighted since high schoolers will choose college.”

                That’s a short-term issue… the ones who do will be back in 1-3 years. Not even sure how many it will impact, as bonuses will still be plenty large. The Yankees will still be able to sign the two nine figure guys they usually do, and the cheap college relievers they usually take are going to be even more of an advantage now.

                “It’s short-sighted since high schoolers will choose college.”

                A lot do already. Most of those kids don’t really “choose,” though. It’s chosen for them based on their skill level in each sport. They’ll mostly keep baseball in their back pocket for if/when they don’t make it big in the other sport. And then they probably still won’t make it big in baseball.

  • YankeeGrunt

    I wonder if you’ll see the slot figure for a given round treated as a maximum more than a regular figure. For instance, the Yanks might offer a first rounder $800K without it being offered as an insult and have the remainder for use in other rounds. Because that sum does represent a significant increase on slot guidance for previous years.

    • RetroRob

      Sure, I can see that happening, since the Yankees have basically done that the last two drafts. Other teams may follow. Read a Klaw comment recently suggesting there are already rumors circulating that some teams will go for easier signs in the first round, ones who will sign for under-slot dollars, so the teams can push more money into the later rounds have greater flexibility to sign others players that drop or are known to be tougher signs.

      As mentioined, the Yankees have been doing this for the past few years, going for guys like Bichette and Culver with their first-round picks, having more money in later rounds. There were no CBA budget restrictions, but there seemed to be Hal Steinbrenner budget restrictions.

      The new CBA rules hurt all teams by removing flexibility to sign players. It was and remains stupid since the overall amount of money teams spend is a drop in the bucket, more crazy realizing talent is the lifeblood of all MLB.

      • YankeeGrunt

        Sure, but Culver was still slot and Bichette was slightly over. Of course it was a smaller slot.

      • Ted Nelson

        You’re assuming bonuses won’t come down. They should. HS kids who don’t sign will have to come through the draft eventually.

  • altajoe

    This will impact the other teams more than the Yanks. For years the draft was treated as something they had to do by rule. I’d guess that the total effort put into the draft was equal to or less than 1/1000 of a percent of total organizational effort.

    • Steve (different one)

      Sure, “for years” prior to about 2005. This hasn’t been true for a pretty long time so I’m not sure what the point of this comment is.

    • YankeeGrunt

      They have made good use of the draft over the last several years and a number of the better prospects (especially role player types) are draftees. Gardner, Robertson, Phelps, DJ Mitchell, etc etc, with some of the better prospects in the pipeline (Austin, Mason Williams, Bryan Mitchell and Brett Marshall) draftees as well.

      • Ted Nelson

        I agree, and would point out that they could still draft just about all of those guys under this season.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    This system is a total disaster.
    Unless you’re picked in the first 4-5 rounds, a college scholarship is worth more than your signing bonus so now instead of the MLB teams developing their own talented HS players, it’s gong to be left up to the colleges who are interested only in winning, not developing players for the majors.

    I’m still shocked that big market teams didn’t fight this and the international spending restriction much harder.

    • Ted Nelson

      Guys taken after the 4-5 round were very, very, very rarely getting huge bonuses in the first place…

      The Yankees were not spending much more than this in the draft already… why would they fight it? Small market teams like the Pirates and Royals have been as big of spenders as anyone in the draft.

      • YankeeGrunt

        But the guys taken after 4-5 who said they needed high six, low seven figures to keep them from going to college and whose skill set supported that bonus DID get it. It was never the norm, but you’re talking about high-end talent.

        • Manny’s BanWagon

          Exactly. Now the Yankees won’t even get the chance to throw big bucks at that 6th or 7th round kid previously felt to be headed to college like the did with Betances in the 8th round when they gave him $1 million not to go to Vanderbilt.

          Guess what, That $131,000 that can give him now isn’t gnna keep him from Vanderbilt, not when a scholarship there is worth $300,000 conservatively speaking.

        • Ted Nelson

          High end talent will just go higher, go to college, or borrow bonus $ from cheaper picks. HS baseball is unlikely to suddenly disappear. The talent will be there.

  • Ted Nelson

    I still don’t see how it stinks. It barely restricts their spending compared to recent years, and it makes the draft function the way it was originally supposed to.

    • Manny’s BanWagon

      Spoken like a fan of a mid market team, not the Yankees. The goal of draft is to create parity, which as a Yankee fan is not something I want to see happen to the sport.

      Now 2 of the 3 majors avenues where the Yankees could use their financial advantages have been closed with the draft and international spending limits.

      More HS kids are gonna go to college, many of whom will be ruined by their college programs and more 2 sport athletes are going to move away from baseball. I also wonder what’s going to happen in the Caribean and South America when the money for these kids is cut way back. It’s certainly not going to entice more of these kids to persue baseball.

      No one is saying this is going to cripple the Yankees but I certainly think its bad for them and its detrimtental to adding talent in baseball as a whole.

      • Ted Nelson

        You are the worst.

        You are confusing market size with winning. The draft is designed to help fans of bad teams. Tampa is in a small market but still gets low picks when they win.

        That you’re used to a totally uncompetitive system that benefited your team doesn’t mean it was a good system. US sports are not capitalistic in the least. Some more competition is a good thing for everyone.

        I think that the impact will be very marginal. You’re blowing marginal issues way out of proportion. How many kids are “ruined” by their college program? How many are two sport athletes with a real shot in the other sport?

      • Ted Nelson

        Look at how many top picks and successful MLB players are coming from NCAA these days, and then tell me it “ruins” players.

        What % of prospects do you suppose have a legit shot in another sport?