Over at the most excellent Baseball America, J.J. Cooper has published the signing bonus pools for all 30 teams in advance of the June draft. Here's the top 10 ...
|Team||2014 Signing Bonus Pool|
|Chicago White Sox||$9,509,700|
|Toronto Blue Jays||$9,458,500|
|Kansas City Royals||$8,602,900|
As noted in the headline, the Orioles, with a bonus pool of just more than $2.2 million, will have the fewest bucks to spend on their picks. Click through for the full list of all 30 bonus pools.
MLB prior to the 2012 draft instituted a "hard slotting" system in which each pick is assigned a maximum bonus. Teams can exceed the figure for a given pick, but they can't go past their total bonus pools -- i.e., the numbers you see above -- without penalty.
Speaking of penalties, here's how those work:
- Team exceeds its bonus pool by 0-5 percent: 75 percent tax on overage;
- Team exceeds its bonus pool by between more than five percent and up to 10 percent: loss of a first-round pick and 75 percent tax on overage;
- Team exceeds its bonus pool by between more than 10 percent but less than 15 percent: lose first- and second-round picks and pay 100 percent tax on overage;
- Team exceeds its bonus pool by 15 percent or more: lose two first-round picks and pay 100 percent tax on overage.
The top overall pick of 2014, which belongs to the Astros, is assigned a value of $7,922,100. Last year, the Astros had the largest overall pool, with a figure of $11,698,800. As expected, this year's pool is substantially higher.
As for the 2014 draft order, River Avenue Blues has the full listing.