Will your baseball draft signing bonus be a bucket of balls or a specific dollar value?
Well, if you are looking to devote yourself to professional baseball, lets assume you should expect being paid a valid salary and bonus by your future employer. Thus, your baseball draft signing bonus is a big big deal!
Do you have contractual rights to a baseball draft signing bonus?
Yes, but not until you sign a contract and become a member of a union called the Major League Baseball Player’s Association. Under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) for Major League Baseball (“MLB”), there is a specific process for the baseball draft signing bonus system as it relates to the Rule 4 Draft versus the international amateur talent pool.
What rules apply to the baseball draft signing bonus process?
Baseball draft signing bonus is allocated under rules defined as the “Club Signing Bonus Pool.” Long story short, MLB allocates a specific dollar amount or budget each team is allowed to spend for players drafted in the first round through the tenth round. Who is running MLB?
Answer: the owners of each MLB team. Thus, the allocation of a signing bonus to players drafted by the Major Leagues is designed to favor owners….not the players. Thus, you owe it to yourself to seek the highest bonus you are able.
Baseball draft signing bonuses for 2014
For the year 2014, the following allotments or budgets have been granted to each team as follows:
1. Miami Marlins – $14,199,300
2. Houston Astros – $13,362,200
3. Chicago White Sox – $9,509,700
4. Chicago Cubs – $8,352,200
5. Toronto Blue Jays – $9,458,500
6. Colorado Rockies – $8,347,300
7. Minnesota Twins – $7,605,600
8. Kansas City Royals – $8,602,900
9. Milwaukee Brewers – $7,605, 600
10. Cleveland Indians – $8,234,100
11. Seattle Mariners – $6,767,900
12. Philadelphia Phillies – $6,896,700
13. Arizona Diamondbacks – $7,228,300
14. Cincinnati Reds – $6,973,400
15. St. Louis Cardinals – $7,087,200
16. San Diego Padres – $6,098,600
17. San Francisco Giants – $5,949,800
18. Boston Red Sox – $6,373,300
19. Los Angeles Angels – $5,774,000
20. New York Mets – $5,308,300
21. Tampa Bay Rays – $5,848,400
22. Pittsburgh Pirates – $5,606,100
23. Washington Nationals – $5,275,700
24. Los Angeles Dodgers – $4,947,700
25. Detroit Tigers – $4,890,200
26. Texas Rangers – $4,820,700
27. Oakland Athletics – $4,778,300
28. Atlanta Braves – $4,557, 700
29. New York Yankees – $3,202,300
30. Baltimore Orioles – $2,204,400
What are the baseball signing bonuses for players drafted after the tenth round?
Good news and bad news…teams do not have to follow the above referenced baseball draft signing bonus outline. In other words, players who are drafted after the tenth round can negotiate any singing bonus they desire. In fact, it is not uncommon for players drafted in rounds 11 and later to acquire a HIGHER signing bonus than a player who was drafted in rounds six through ten.
One of the biggest clauses this agency sees players fail at negotiating on their behalf includes their College Scholarship Plan, which is authorized under the CBA. By the way, a College Scholarship Plan should be part of a player’s contract if they are drafted in rounds one through ten as well.
What should you do first when negotiating your baseball draft signing bonus?
First, you have to recognize the fact you have leverage. Try to separate yourself from the excitement of being drafted and channel that energy as if you were being offered a scholarship to play baseball. Obviously there are differences, but a scholarship offer is likely the most comparable event you have experienced to date.
Then, consider seeking help from a baseball agent. This might appear like a self serving statement. Really though, it comes down to separating your contractual rights from the emotion of the process from start to finish. The starting point being the point in which you are drafted and the finish line being your 20 year retirement from the game as a Hall of Fame candidate.
Therefore, if you are included as part of the Rule 4 Draft, please contact baseball agent Jasper Berg for help and or advisement.
*Dollar amounts referenced herein are compliments of Baseball America, Issue No. 1410/140402, April 25-May 9, 2014.