If you have already heard the news surrounding the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft, you’ll know that this year’s version will still happen, but it will be cut back to just five rounds, shortening the annual event by a whopping 35 rounds.
Jeff Passan of ESPN was one of the first to report the news on Friday.
Most people who follow baseball basically knew the draft would be abbreviated in some shape or form, while others considered it might have been conceivably cancelled altogether. Back in late March, we put together a story surrounding those exact circumstances.
According to some reports, ownership and the players’ association were at an impasse on reaching an agreement on whether the draft would be five or 10 rounds. Ultimately, Commissioner Rob Manfred intervened, making the final ruling.
One of the caveats of the revised 2020 draft is that undrafted signings will only be able to receive a maximum initial bonus of $20,000, which was obviously a move to limit the financial strain on ownership.
As for the hundreds of others who would have been drafted this year, they will indeed have difficult decisions to make. One result could see an overwhelming number of players scrambling to enroll in some type of collegiate program. With many school administrators working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has already been a strain on the admissions processes, especially in terms of acceptance delays.
The bottom line is that there will certainly be countless bargains to be landed outside of the draft, which bodes well for Los Angeles boss Andrew Friedman and his heralded analytics department.
Because of the limitations behind the signing bonuses and number of rounds, teams like the Dodgers may potentially see success in courting players because of geography, the promise of rapid minor league advancement and other creative inducements, like the fact Los Angeles has one of the richest heritages in MLB history.
As far as the Dodgers go, the team is set up with six picks over the first five rounds. The club’s first selection will be the 29th pick of the opening round.
In addition to their regular picks, Los Angeles also has a pick in Competitive Balance Round B pick (No. 66 overall), received from the Twins in the deal that sent Kenta Maeda to Minnesota and brought Brusdar Graterol to the Dodgers.
The draft will take place on June 10. Originally, the venue was slated to be the Holland Center in Omaha, but whether this year’s affair will happen virtually or in person remains unknown.
The period for signing undrafted players will begin three days later on June 13.
Teams have until August 1 to sign players selected in the draft.