More on the Effects of MLB’s Slotting System for Draft Picks

I saw an interesting article on Sports Illustrated’s website stating that numerous draft picks at the bottom of the top ten rounds are signing bonuses for only $1,000, as teams try to save money to give other draftees more than slot money.

The Red Sox signed their 7th round pick Kyle Krause, a small right-hander who had a fine year as a senior at the University of Portland.  Krause wasn’t sure that he would be drafted by anyone, so he was willing to sign for a mere $1,000, agreed upon in advance of the draft.  The Red Sox thereby saved $142,000 on their top ten round pool to give to another prospect they like better.

The Red Sox, Mets and Blue Jays did the same thing again in the tenth round, thereby saving $124,000 in slot money on each of these picks.  The Red Sox used the extra money from the 7th and 10th rounds to sign their first round pick, Scott Boras client SS Deven Marrero for $2.05 million, well over slot.

In fact, Marrero had only fallen down to the Red Sox at the 24th pick because of his signability issues.  The mock drafts I’ve seen had him going somewhere between the 8th and 16th picks.

This strategy makes a lot of sense to me.  The odds of picking a useful major league player after the first six rounds is pretty slim, and by the 10th round slimmer still.  It does happen, of course, but as a matter of percentages, not all that often.  It makes a lot more sense to free up money so you can sign a player drafted in the top 100 or 200 you really want.

Interestingly, the Pirates are not one of the teams identified to have found an amateur player who would sign cheap in the later of the first ten rounds to free up money to sign their first round pick Mark Appel.  However, the Bucs did save $136,000 by signing their supplemental 1st round pick (45th overall), Texas Tech outfielder Barrett Barnes, for a cool $1 million.

It’s likely the Pirates will use any extra money they have after signing their remaining top ten round picks, plus the up to 5% overage, in order to make the highest possible offer to Appel/Boras at the July 15, 2012 signing deadline without costing the team future draft picks.  The Pirates could sorely use a pitcher like Mark Appel, but they realize Appel doesn’t have a lot of leverage, given that his only other options are going back to Stanford for his senior year or pitching in an independent A league, neither of which is likely to get him selected as one of the top three or four picks in next year’s draft.

Explore posts in the same categories: Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Pittsburg Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays

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