Draft, International Values Increase By 1.7 Percent

The assigned values for picks in the top 10 rounds of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and for each team’s four international slots have increased by 1.7 percent over last year’s figures, according to a document I’ve obtained.

The total of the Draft bonus pools for all 30 clubs equals $205,786,400. The total of the international bonus pools for all 30 teams is $79,194,000. The industry as a whole spent $219,302,880 on Draft bonuses in 2013, and had paid out $88.7 million on applicable international bonuses through Feb. 9 (the signing period runs through June 15).

The Marlins, who have more selections (13) in the first 10 rounds than any club, have the highest Draft pool at $14,199,300. The Astros, who own the No. 1 overall choice for an unprecedented third straight year, rank second at $13,362,200. That top pick is valued at $7,922,100, just shy of the all-time Draft bonus record of $8 million, paid by the Pirates to No. 1 overall selection Gerrit Cole in 2011.

The lowest Draft pool belongs to the Orioles, who forfeited their first- and second-round choices by signing compensation free agents Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz. Baltimore has an allotment of $2,204,400.

Bear in mind that the Draft pools still could change slightly. If free agents Stephen Drew (Red Sox) and Kendry Morales (Mariners) sign big league contracts with new teams, their former clubs will get compensation picks toward the end of the first round and their new employers will forfeit a choice as well.

The Draft pools cover the top 10 rounds and any bonus money in excess of $100,000 given to players taken in rounds 11-40. If a player selected in the first 10 rounds doesn’t sign, his assigned value is subtracted from his team’s pool.

A club that exceeds its Draft pool by 0-5 percent gets with a 75 percent tax on the overage. The penalties get much more severe at higher threshholds: the loss of a first-round pick and a 75 percent tax for surpassing it by more than 5 and up to 10 percent; the loss of first- and second-rounders and a 100 percent tax for more than 10 and up to 15 percent; and the loss of two-first-rounders and a 100 percent tax for more than 15 percent.

In the first two years under these rules, teams have overstepped their Draft pools a total of 22 times, but never by more than 5 percent.

While extra picks are granted in the Draft via the competitive-balance lottery, and some are gained and lost as free-agent compensation, the international slots don’t change hands unless they’re traded. As a result, the current totals simply reflect the reverse order of last year’s Major League standings. The Astros have the highest international bonus pool at $5,015,400, while the Cardinals have the lowest at $1,866,300.

The international bonus pools cover signings from July 2 through June 15 of the following year. Players who are at least 23 years old and have played in a professional league recognized by the Commissioner’s Office (such as in Cuban or Japan) for a minimum of five seasons don’t count against the pool, nor do players who sign for $10,000 or less.

Clubs get penalized for exceeding their allotments for international players, but not as harshly as they do with the Draft. Any overage is taxed at a 100 percent rate. Additionally, teams can’t sign a player in the next signing period for more than $500,000 if they surpass their pool by more than 5 and up to 10 percent; can’t sign a player in the next signing period for more than $300,000 if they go over by more than 10 percent and up to 15 percent; and can’t sign a player in the next two signing periods for more than $300,000 if they overstep by more than 15 percent.

Because they overspent by more than 15 percent in the 2013-14 period, the Rangers and Cubs can’t sign a player for more than $250,000 in the 2014-15 period. (The bonus limit was slightly lower in the penalties for 2013-14.)

Below are the Draft and international pools for each club, listed in descending order:

DRAFT BONUS POOLS
Team               Picks    Draft Pool
1. Marlins         13      $14,199,300
2. Astros          11      $13,362,200
3. White Sox       10       $9,509,700
4. Blue Jays       11       $9,458,500
5. Royals          12       $8,602,900
6. Cubs            10       $8,352,200
7. Rockies         11       $8,347,300
8. Indians         12       $8,234,100
9. Brewers         11       $7,605,600
10. Twins          10       $7,525,600
11. Diamondbacks   12       $7,228,300
12. Cardinals      12       $7,087,200
13. Reds           11       $6,973,400
14. Phillies       10       $6,896,700
15. Mariners       11       $6,767,900
16. Red Sox        11       $6,373,300
17. Padres         10       $6,098,600
18. Giants         10       $5,949,800
19. Rays           11       $5,848,400
20. Angels         10       $5,774,000
21. Pirates        11       $5,606,100
22. Mets            9       $5,308,300
23. Nationals      10       $5,275,700
24. Dodgers        10       $4,947,700
25. Tigers         10       $4,890,200
26. Rangers        10       $4,820,700
27. Athletics      10       $4,778,300
28. Braves         10       $4,557,700
29. Yankees         9       $3,202,300
30. Orioles         8       $2,204,400
Total             316     $205,786,400

INTERNATIONAL BONUS POOLS
Team               Int'l Pool
1. Astros          $5,015,400
2. Marlins         $4,622,400
3. White Sox       $4,273,200
4. Cubs            $3,962,700
5. Twins           $3,686,600
6. Mariners        $3,440,700
7. Phillies        $3,221,800
8. Rockies         $3,026,700
9. Blue Jays       $2,852,900
10. Mets           $2,697,800
11. Brewers        $2,611,800
12. Padres         $2,531,200
13. Giants         $2,455,300
14. Angels         $2,383,700
15. Diamondbacks   $2,316,600
16. Orioles        $2,253,100
17. Yankees        $2,193,100
18. Royals         $2,136,800
19. Nationals      $2,083,600
20. Reds           $2,033,400
21. Rangers        $2,015,500
22. Rays           $1,998,100
23. Indians        $1,980,700
24. Dodgers        $1,963,800
25. Tigers         $1,946,900
26. Pirates        $1,930,400
27. Athletics      $1,913,900
28. Braves         $1,897,900
29. Red Sox        $1,881,700
30. Cardinals      $1,866,300
Total             $79,194,000

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The money MLB teams will spend to secure the next superstar.

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