Penalties For Exceeding Pools Depend On International Draft

Earlier today we released the preliminary 2013-14 international signing bonus pools that will kick in on July 2.

Teams are allowed to exceed their bonus pools, as the Rays elected to do during the current signing period, but the penalties for going even slightly above the pool allotment are harsh. The Rays, for example, went more than 15 percent beyond their $2.9 million bonus pool for the 2012-13 signing period. So while the Rays will still be able to spend their entire 2013-14 international bonus pool allotment, they will be unable to sign a player for more than $250,000 during the 2013-14 signing period and will pay a 100 percent tax on the overage from their 2012-13 pool.

The penalties for spending beyond the pool space are still in place for the 2013-14 signing period, but the specifics will depend on whether there is an international draft in 2014. Major League Baseball must inform the MLB Players’ Association by June 1 if the league intends to implement an international draft, after which the union has the option to veto the draft for the 2014 season by providing a written notice of its objection to MLB by June 15.

So by July 2, teams will know the penalties they face if they exceed their 2013-14 pool space, one if international players are included in the draft, another if the status quo remains.

Penalties With 2014 International Draft
• 0-5 percent over pool: 75 percent tax on the pool overage.
• 5-10 percent over pool: 75 percent tax on the pool overage. Team loses first-round pick in the 2014 international draft.
• 10-15 percent over pool: 100 percent tax on the pool overage. Team loses first-round and second-round pick in the 2014 international draft.
• 15 percent or more over pool: 100 percent tax on the pool overage. Team loses first-round picks in both the 2014 and 2015 international drafts.

Penalties With No International Draft
• 0-5 percent over pool: 75 percent tax on the pool overage.
• 5-10 percent over pool: 75 percent tax on the pool overage. Team won’t be allowed to sign a player for more than $500,000 during the 2014-15 signing period.
• 10-15 percent over pool: 100 percent tax on the pool overage. Team won’t be allowed to sign a player for more than $500,000 during the 2014-15 signing period.
• 15 percent or more over pool: 100 percent tax on the pool overage. Team won’t be allowed to sign a player for more than $250,000 during the 2014-15 signing period.

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