We’ve already reported that despite MLB slashing bonus recommendations by 10 percent across the board, as well as implementing rule changes it believed would give clubs more leverage, bonuses increased in the first round this year. The 2007 crop averaged $2,098,083 in bonuses, up 9 percent from 2006 ($1,933,333) and trailing only 2001 ($2,154,280) and 2002 ($2,106,793) in draft history. After doing some more number-crunching today, we discovered that bonuses were up through the first five rounds–the rounds completely slotted by MLB. This year, there were 184 picks in the first five rounds. Their slots averaged $568,944, down 10 percent from the top 184 choices in 2006 ($631,870). Yet the 2007 group signed for bonuses averaging $685,328, up 3 percent from a year ago ($662,531). On average, the 2007 picks signed for 20 percent over slot. Their 2006 counterparts signed for 5 percent over slot.
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