Here's a quick refresher for all of you who don't remember the finer points of baseball's new Collective Bargaining Agreement (read: everyone). Because the draft has a cap in spending, teams are given a pool of money they can spend on each of their picks, with slot totals valued for each individual pick.
So, a team can spend a total of $11 million, say, but it's broken down by $7 million in the first round, $2 million in the second and down from there. Here's a quick overview of those points from last year:
- The number of rounds in the draft dropped from 50 to 40. Mike Piazza's place as the lowest-drafted player to ever make an All-Star game or some such nonsense is assured.
- This is good news for any fans of minor league affiliates: the signing deadline has moved up from Aug. 15 to mid-July. This year, that means the actual deadline is July 13 at 4 p.m. CST.
- Here's the biggest change, teams now have bonus pools they have to use to sign their top 10 rounds. Each pick is assigned a specific amount and that adds up to how much money the team can spend in those 10 rounds. After those first 10, there is a cap of $100,000 on signings. If teams go over that, the overage counts against their bonus pool.
- If a team violates the bonus pool by 5 percent, they'll be taxed 75 percent on the overage. Go over 5 percent up to 10 percent, and the tax kicks in along with a loss of a first round pick. Go from 10 to 15 percent over and it's a 100 percent tax on the overage along with the loss of first and second round picks. In case teams are dumb enough to try and go over that? More than 15 percent gets a 100 percent tax and the loss of two first-rounders.
- No big league contracts are allowed under the new rules. This especially affects Houston, because the 1-1 spot was often where players would demand a major league contract. Hopefully, this will make it easier for a player picked there to stay in the minors until they're finished developing instead of being forced up due to roster restrictions.
- This isn't going to affect Houston, but teams will get a second compensation pick if they fail to sign any player taken with a compensation pick. Basically, this keeps teams from having to draft sure-sign guys like Corey Spangenberger or Drew Storen, just to avoid losing the pick. Of course, both of those examples turned out well so far, but it's still a good rule.
This year, Houston doesn't have any extra picks in the draft, but there are also less compensation picks, so the actual No.1 pick in Round 2 is higher in number than in years past. That means the Astros can spend up to $11.69 million on the top 10 picks in this year's draft. Here's the breakdown by pick:
Round 1 - $7,790,400
Round 2 - $1,397,200
Round 3 - $747,700
Round 4 - $481,900
Round 5 - $360,800
Round 6 - $270,200
Round 7 - $202,300
Round 8 - $159,700
Round 9 - $149,200
Round 10 - $139,400