2018 MLB Draft Primer: Bonus Pools, Penalties, Schedule, Coverage, More

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2018 MLB Draft Primer: Bonus Pools, Penalties, Schedule, Coverage, More

Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

The 2018 MLB Draft kicks off with Rounds 1 and 2 tonight, and it remains the single most important event of the year for the long-term health of a baseball organization.

And that may go double for a team like the Cubs, who happen to pick FOUR times tonight – 24th (1st round), 62nd (2nd round), 77th (compensation for Wade Davis signing with the Rockies) and 78th (compensation for Jake Arrieta signing with the Phillies). After having zero picks in the top 100 two years ago and trading away a number of top prospects over the last three seasons, you can bet the Cubs front office is is dying to get these picks right tonight.

So here’s how it all works in case you forgot …

The Bonus Pool

Teams are assigned a “pool” of dollars that they can use to sign players. The pool is based on the “slot” value of each of the team’s picks in the first 10 rounds (each pick in the Draft is given a certain value, and each of a team’s picks’ values are added up to determine the pool amount). You can sign the players for more or less than their individual slot value, but the total of your bonuses has to stay under the bonus pool amount, lest you incur penalties (discussed below).

Picks after the 10th round have no slot value attached to them, but the amount of a bonus over $125,000 for a pick in those rounds does count against the pool (i.e., if you sign a 15th rounder for $200,000, then $75,000 will count against your pool).

The Slot Values

The individual slot values for the first round picks are as follows:

  1. Tigers – $8,096,300
  2. Giants – $7,494,600
  3. Phillies – $6,947,500
  4. White Sox – $6,411,400
  5. Reds – $5,946,400
  6. Mets – $5,525,200
  7. Padres – $5,226,500
  8. Braves – $4,980,700
  9. Athletics – $4,761,500
  10. Pirates – $4,560,200
  11. Orioles – $4,375,100
  12. Blue Jays – $4,200,900
  13. Marlins – $4,038,200
  14. Mariners – $3,883,800
  15. Rangers – $3,738,500
  16. Rays – $3,603,500
  17. Angels – $3,472,900
  18. Royals – $3,349,300
  19. Cardinals – $3,231,700
  20. Twins – $3,120,000
  21. Brewers – $3,013,600
  22. Rockies – $2,912,300
  23. Yankees – $2,815,900
  24. Chicago Cubs – $2,724,000
  25. Diamondbacks – $2,636,400
  26. Red Sox – $2,552,800
  27. Nationals – $2,472,700
  28. Astros – $2,399,400
  29. Indians – $2,332,700
  30. Dodgers – $2,275,800

If you’d like to see the rest of the individual bonus slots for every team, head over to Baseball America.

The rest of the Cubs picks have the following bonus pool slots:

  • 2nd Round (Pick 62): $1,060,900
  • Comp Pick 1 (Pick 77): $775,100
  • Comp Pick 2 (Pick 78): 762,900
  • 3rd Round (Pick 98): $570,600
  • 4th Round (Pick 128): $426,100
  • 5th Round (Pick 158): $317,600
  • 6th Round (Pick 188): $245,600
  • 7th Round (Pick 218): $192,500
  • 8th Round (Pick 248): $159,100
  • 9th Round (Pick 278): $145,100
  • 10th Round (Pick 308): $ 137,600

Total Bonus Pool for the Cubs: $7,491,700 (20th highest in MLB)

The Penalties

Those bonus pools and slot values matter because if a team exceeds its bonus pool, it is subject to penalties.

Note: If a team fails to sign a player, the slot value from that pick is removed from the bonus pool. This is why you’ll see teams heavily taking college seniors in the 6 to 10 round range: the team can sign those players for $1,000 to $10,000, and “save” money to be applied elsewhere in the Draft.

Note II: Picks after the 10th round have no slot value (and you don’t lose any bonus pool money for failing to sign them), but any amount given to them in excess of $125,000 (up from $100,000 two years ago) counts against the bonus pool.

As for the penalties: Any team that exceeds its pool by 0 to 5% must pay a 75% tax on the amount of the overage. Any team that exceeds its pool by more than 5% but less than 10% must pay a 75% tax on the amount of the overage AND loses a first round draft pick next year. Any team that exceeds its pool by more than 10% but less than 15% must pay a 100% tax on the amount of the overage AND loses a first round draft pick next year AND loses a second round draft pick next year. Any team that exceeds its pool by more than 15% must pay a 100% tax on the amount of the overage AND lose a first round draft pick in each of the next TWO drafts.

Given that penalty structure, it was unsurprising to see the Cubs gladly exceed their pool the last few years, but by an amount less than 5% over the pool. Assuming they’re willing to pay the tax again this year (they will be), you can think of the Cubs’ bonus pool as closer to $ 7,866,285.

For more on each individual slot value and total bonus pools for every team, visit this article at Baseball America or this one from MLB.com. We also have all the slot values for every pick going tonight at the bottom of this post.

The Schedule

  • Day One of the 2018 MLB Draft is today, June 4, 2018. The Draft begins at 6pm CT (7pm ET), and the first two rounds, including competitive balance and compensatory picks, take place on Day One.
  • Day Two of the Draft is Tuesday, June 5, and includes Rounds Three through Ten. It also begins with a live Draft Show at 11:30 am CT (12:30 ET)
  • Day Three of the Draft is Wednesday, June 6, and finishes things up with Rounds 11 through 40. It’s rapid fire, and there’s very little fanfare (even if there is excitement for Draft nerds like us). You’ll see a lot of intriguing “over slot” types who’ve slipped get picked in this range. Day Three of the Draft begins at 11am CT (12pm ET).

The Coverage

Coverage begins with the draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 5pm CT. Then, full coverage from MLB Network’s Studio 42 begins at 6pm CT, with Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A (picks 1-43) broadcast on MLB Network and streamed on MLB.com. Picks 44-78 (Round 2, Competitive Balance Round B and second-round compensation picks) will be streamed on MLB.com. All rounds can be viewed live here.

We’ll have all of the Cubs’ picks covered here at BN, of course, if you don’t want to watch the stream yourself. It’s annually a tough but fun stretch of hours for us each day, so we hope you enjoy the fast-paced coverage, and we’ll do our best to keep up with whatever we can find on the picks.

The Order

First Round

  1. Detroit Tigers – Slot value: $8,096,300
  2. San Francisco Giants – Slot value: $7,494,600
  3. Philadelphia Phillies – Slot value: $6,947,500
  4. Chicago White Sox – Slot value: $6,411,400
  5. Cincinnati Reds – Slot value: $5,946,400
  6. New York Mets – Slot value: $5,525,200
  7. San Diego Padres – Slot value: $5,226,500
  8. Atlanta Braves – Slot value: $4,980,700
  9. Oakland Athletics – Slot value: $4,761,500
  10. Pittsburgh Pirates – Slot value: $4,560,200
  11. Baltimore Orioles – Slot value: $4,375,100
  12. Toronto Blue Jays – Slot value: $4,200,900
  13. Miami Marlins – Slot value: $4,038,200
  14. Seattle Mariners – Slot value: $3,883,300
  15. Texas Rangers – Slot value: $3,738,500
  16. Tampa Bay Rays – Slot value: $3,603,500
  17. Los Angeles Angels – Slot value: $3,472,900
  18. Kansas City Royals – Slot value: $3,349,300
  19. St. Louis Cardinals – Slot value: $3,231,700
  20. Minnesota Twins – Slot value: $3,120,000
  21. Milwaukee Brewers – Slot value: $3,013,600
  22. Colorado Rockies – Slot value: $2,912,300
  23. New York Yankees – Slot value: $2,815,900
  24. Chicago Cubs – Slot value: $2,724,000
  25. Arizona Diamondbacks – Slot value: $2,636,400
  26. Boston Red Sox – Slot value: $2,552,800
  27. Washington Nationals – Slot value: $2,472,700
  28. Houston Astros – Slot value: $2,399,400
  29. Cleveland Indians – Slot value: $2,332,700
  30. Los Angeles Dodgers – Slot value: $2,275,800

Compensation picks

  1. Tampa Bay Rays – $2,224,400
  2. Tampa Bay Rays – $2,171,700
  3. Kansas City Royals – $2,118,700
  4. Kansas City Royals – $2,066,700
  5. Cleveland Indians – $2,016,400

Competitive Balance Round A

  1. Pittsburgh Pirates – $1,967,900
  2. Baltimore Orioles – $1,923,500
  3. San Diego Padres – $1,878,300
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks – $1,834,500
  5. Kansas City Royals – $1,786,300
  6. Cleveland Indians – $1,744,800
  7. Colorado Rockies – $1,704,000
  8. St. Louis Cardinals – $1,664,200

Second Round

  1. Detroit Tigers – $1,625,500
  2. San Francisco Giants – $1,587,600
  3. Chicago White Sox – $1,556,100
  4. Cincinnati Reds – $1,520,300
  5. New York Mets – $1,485,100
  6. Atlanta Braves – $1,450,500
  7. Oakland Athletics – $1,414,200
  8. Pittsburgh Pirates – $1,382,400
  9. Toronto Blue Jays – $1,350,000
  10. Miami Marlins – $1,318,500
  11. Seattle Mariners – $1,287,800
  12. Texas Rangers – $1,257,500
  13. Tampa Bay Rays – $1,228,000
  14. Los Angeles Angels – $1,196,500
  15. Kansas City Royals – $1,168,300
  16. Minnesota Twins – $1,140,600
  17. Milwaukee Brewers – $1,113,500
  18. New York Yankees – $1,086,900
  19. Chicago Cubs – $1,060,900
  20. Arizona Diamondbacks – $1,035,500
  21. Boston Red Sox – $1,010,500
  22. Washington Nationals – $986,200
  23. Houston Astros – $965,300
  24. Cleveland Indians – $939,700
  25. Los Angeles Dodgers – $917,000

Competitive Balance Round B

  1. Miami Marlins – $894,600
  2. Oakland Athletics – $872,400
  3. Tampa Bay Rays – $850,700
  4. Cincinnati Reds – $837,700
  5. Milwaukee Brewers – $824,900
  6. San Diego Padres – $812,200

Compensation picks

  1. St. Louis Cardinals – $799,600
  2. Colorado Rockies – $787,200
  3. Chicago Cubs – $775,100
  4. Chicago Cubs – $762,900

See you tonight.

Brett Taylor contributed to this post.


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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @Michael_Cerami.