Baseball America released a couple articles today disclosing the draft pick allotments for all thirty teams pick-by-pick, and team-by-team, and reportedly, picks have added 8.2% value to them in what MLB has assigned to the picks in terms of the dollars. A note on the spending budget from the Washington Post which explains what teams must keep in mind:
If teams spend more than their cap amount, the penalty is punitive to the point of being prohibitive: a 75 percent tax for exceeding the cap by 5 percent, up to a 100 percent tax and the loss of two future first-round picks for exceeding the bonus allotment by more than 15 percent.
What you will see is that most of the weaker teams in 2012 occupy the most cap budget for the Draft, and the Houston Astros took advantage of that last year by drafting a player first overall that they signed for much lower than the slot value, then signed the next player they drafted to an over-slot value, and all of a sudden people started to see how you might be able to play the system if you have the moneys allowed to do it.
The Giants have ten picks within the first ten rounds and have $4,712,200 total budgeted for them for these rounds. The Astros, Cubs, and Rockies have more budgeted for their first pick overall than the Giants, and if you add the Marlins, those four teams have double the amount they have budgeted for the first ten rounds (though not necessarily double the average budgeted amount per pick). Before this system, teams could spend what they want, without MLB doing much more than shaking its finger at a team, and then some MLB players wanted that money to go to them instead. The owners, always keen on wanting to save a buck, didn’t mind that, although I wouldn’t really say the money saved has gone to the MLB players, as you consider if that’s just TV money, or money not put into the amateurs.
Don’t expect this system to change, and on the horizon there appears to be an international draft in the works, which should save owners even more money, making the rich richer, and keeping some of the young baseball players from getting the big money they would have got on the free market. The current restrictions of the international signing budget has every team having a set amount of money ($2.9MM) they can spend, or they will suffer the consequences. Is everybody getting paid? Sure. Is everybody getting paid what they should be getting paid on the open market? Definitely not, and that’s too bad for those players and their families.