The current Collective Bargaining Agreement has changed the draft dramatically, specifically by implementing a “draft pool” that is just a fancy name for a soft spending cap. Each team is given a dollar amount they are allowed to spend on the top ten rounds of the draft, plus any money in excess of $100,000 given to a player drafted after the tenth round. So if a team signs their 11th rounder for $125,000, the extra $25,000 counts against their draft pool. The same applies to undrafted free agents. Got it? Good. Here are the penalties for exceeding the draft pool…
- Exceed by 0-5% — 75% tax on overage
- Exceed by 5-10% — 75% tax on overage and forfeit next year’s first round pick
- Exceed by 10-15% — 100% tax on overage and forfeit next year’s first and second round picks
- Exceed by 15% or more — 100% tax on overage and forfeit first round pick in next two drafts
- Any tax money paid or draft picks surrendered is redistributed to clubs that did not go over their tax pool.
The Yankees were given a draft pool of $7,885,000 for the 2015 draft. If a team does not sign a top ten rounds pick, they lose the slot money associated with the pick. If a team signs one of those players to a below slot bonus, they can use the savings elsewhere. The Yankees took advantage of the system by drafting three draft pool friendly college seniors in the top ten rounds, allowing them to reallocate the savings to other players. All of the team’s picks can be found at Baseball America.
The deadline to sign draft picks is 5pm ET on Friday, July 17th this year. We’ll keep track of the Yankees’ draft pool spending right here between now and the deadline as best we can. Signing bonus information isn’t always the easiest thing to find for non-premium picks. If you have any tips, comments, or questions, please email me at mike (at) riveraveblues (dot) com.