MLB teams combined to spend $228,009,050 on draft bonuses in 2011, and a total of $236,059,050 including additional guarantees in major league contracts for Danny Hultzen, Trevor Bauer, Dylan Bundy, Anthony Rendon and Matt Purke. Those are both records, up from $195,782,830 and $201,832,830 in 2010.
On the day of the Aug. 15 signing deadline, the clubs spent $132,098,500 in bonuses and a total of $139,098,500 in guarantees. Those are two more new marks, up from $91,155,600 and $97,205,600 in 2010.
The Pirates, who gave a record $8 million bonus to No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole and set another mark for non-first-rounders by paying $5 million to second-rounder Josh Bell, spent a total of $17,005,700. That obliterated the old bonus standard of $11,927,200 set by the 2010 Nationals.
The Nationals didn't relinquish that record without a fight, spending $15,002,100 in bonuses. Additional guarantees to Rendon and Purke bring Washington's overall total to $17,602,100. The record for the most guaranteed money spent in a single draft remains $19,118,604 by the 2009 Nationals, the bulk of which was a $15,107,104 big league contract for No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg.
The Royals ($14,066,000), Cubs ($11,994,550) and Diamondbacks ($11,930,000) also surpassed Washington's old bonus record. The Rays ($11,482,900), Mariners ($11,330,500), Padres ($11,020,600), Blue Jays ($10,996,500) and Red Sox ($10,978,700) brought the total of teams spending $10 million or more to 10. Only seven teams previously had topped $10 million in bonus spending, all in the previous three drafts.
At the other end of the spectrum, the White Sox ranked last at $2,786,300. The Tigers were the only other team below $3 million at $2,878,700–less than the $3.45 million they paid supplemental first-round pick Nick Castellanos in 2010.
Update: The original signing data didn't include two Canadian players awaiting visas. The appropriate totals have been updated.
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