More Draft Details From The CBA
More details about draft changes resulting from baseball's new collective bargaining agreement continue to trickle out. Some highlights:
- The draft has been reduced from 50 to 40 rounds.
- The draft caps for all 30 teams for the first 10 rounds will total approximately $185 million in 2012, varying depending on the number of supplemental picks created by free-agent compensation and failure to sign 2011 draftees from the first three rounds. The competitive-balance lottery selections don't come into play until 2013.
- Any attempt to circumvent the draft cap, such as an under-the-table agreement, is expressly prohibited.
- The most significant new detail: If a team fails to sign a player in the first 10 rounds, its draft cap is reduced by the assigned value of his pick. It can't reallocate that value to sign other players. However, it can reallocate the difference between a player's bonus and the value of his choice.
- If a player fails a physical and the team fails to offer him 40 percent of the assigned value of his pick, he becomes a free agent. In that case, the club's draft cap would be reduced by the value of his selection.
- Not only has the signing deadline moved from Aug. 15 to mid-July, it will be at 5 p.m. rather than midnight ET. The 2012 deadline is July 13.
- MLB has eliminated its draft-support program, which served as a clearinghouse for offers and was used to strong-arm teams into not disclosing over-slot deals until shortly before the deadline. This means clubs actually can announce signings as they happen rather than pretend that they haven't occurred.
- Competitive-balance lottery picks (and only those picks) can be traded. They can only be dealt by the original team that held the choice, and they can't be exchanged for cash (unless it's cash to offset the salary of players included in the trade, subject to MLB approval). Lottery-pick deals can occur only during a regular season and not during an offseason.
- Teams get an extra year of protection for compensation picks for failure to sign draftees from the first three rounds. For example, the Blue Jays get the 22nd pick in 2012 after not signing No. 21 overall choice Tyler Beede in 2011. If Toronto can't come to terms with the compensation selection, it would get another one in 2013.
- Teams no longer are required to physically tender a contract to draftees within 15 days of the draft, eliminating the rule that infamously led to the four loophole free agents of 1996.
- The logistics for a proposed predraft medical combine still are being worked out.