Report: MLB Shortening 2020 Draft From 40 Rounds To Five

May 9, 2020, 3:33 PM
2019 MLB Draft...
New York Mets team reps Art Shamsky announces the 53rd pick in during the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft at Studio 42 at the MLB Network on Monday, June 3, 2019 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Major League Baseball plans to cut its 2020 Draft from 40 rounds to five rounds in an attempt to cut costs during the coronavirus pandemic, according to reports.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Kiley McDaniel reported the news of MLB’s shortened draft plans on Friday, May 8.

“An agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association in March allowed the league to reduce the draft from its typical 40 rounds to as few as five,” wrote Passan and McDaniel. “The agreement allows teams to delay signing bonuses, with a maximum of $100,000 to be paid within 30 days of a player signing, 50% of the remainder due July 1, 2021, and the leftover due July 1, 2022.

MLB team owners have reportedly wanted to cut the draft for some time despite pushback on the idea from general managers, player-development, and other team personnel “arguing that the domestic draft offers the greatest amount of surplus value compared to cost.”

Passan and McDaniel wrote that the decision to shorten the draft will also impact NCAA ball clubs. College baseball will have to figure out “how to balance its limited scholarships, a potential influx of freshmen and the desires of draft-eligible juniors — and seniors, after the NCAA restored eligibility to spring athletes upon canceling the 2020 season — to forgo $20,000 bonuses and return to school.”

News of a shortened draft comes amid the coronavirus pandemic that has also led to reports of a shortened to canceled Minor League Baseball season.

The 2020 MLB season was postponed from its original start date in late March due to coronavirus concerns.

MLB last shortened its draft eight years ago. In 2012 the MLB draft was shorted from 50 rounds to 40 rounds.


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