With permission from Rob at Baseball HQ here is reprint of a post he made regarding the draft.
"Also it is worth noting that MLB has in fact done a good job in bringing down the bonuses and total $s being handed out to draft pick - while at the same time FA $s have escalated - making the draft picks a better deal than 5 years ago.
Check out some of the bonuses from 2000-2001.
Joe Borchard $5.3 million bonus as the 12th pick.
Beau Hale $2.2 million bonus as the 14th pick.
Ben Diggins $2.2 million bonus as the 17th pick.
Jason Stokes $2 million bonus as a 2nd round pick.
Jason Young $2.75 million bonus as a 2nd rounder.
Mauer 1st overall - $5.1 million bonus
Prior 2nd overall - $4 million bonus
Dewon Brazelton 3rd overall $4.2 million bonus
Gavin Floyd 4th overall - $4.2 million bonus
Mark Teixeira 5th overall - $4.5 million bonus
C. Kotchman 13th overall $2 million bonus
G. Gross 15th overall - $1.8 million bonus
- Price - $5.6 million bonus
- Moustakas - $4 million bonus
- Vitters $3.2 million bonus
- Moskos $2.4
- Wieters $6 million bonus
- Detwiller - $2.1 million
- LaPorta $2 million
- C. Weathers $1.8 million
- Beau Mills $1.5 million
- Devin Mesoraco $1.4 million
While many complain about the slotting system when you look at what it accomplished you might want to tip your hat to what Sandy Alderson and company were able to accomplish. In a period that saw salaries continue to escalate to ridiculous sums, MLB has been able to keep the overall amount of money being spent on the draft fairly stable.
If all teams had followed the slot rules then the goals of the draft would be working. However since some teams have now broken away from the pack and choose to flaunt their money just as they did with Free Agents, the deep pocket money teams are now also getting a larger benefit from the draft then the teams with the best draft position. This is great for the fans of the Tigers, Yankee's, and Red Sox but it doesn't help the Royals try to regain a competitive edge since they can't spend on the free agents at the same level as their deep pocket counterparts. They must rely on great drafts, if they can't take the best player available because his demands are to excessive then what is the point of the draft anymore. Once the agents realize that teams will go over slot it is best for their clients to make sure that their clients get drafted by those teams who will buck the slotting system. Thus they float their bonus demands and instead of the Royals picking Weiters they take Moustakas, a lesser talent but someone they felt they could sign. The best pitcher in the draft (Porcell) falls all the way to the team who was in the World Series last year and gets his 7 million. The Royals made the right decision in the end because they weren't going to make Wieters The Six Million Dollar Man and if they had drafted him they would have ended up with nothing. Some would argue that they should have drafted the best player available and paid the piper but if they did, the piper's price in future years would get higher and higher. Who wants to spend Seven Million on a HS arm? Someone will but it can't be a team whose major league salary is Forty Million.
The Dodgers were recently under heavy criticism for not signing their 5th round pick, Kyle Blair. The numbers are all over the place but it sounded like he had lowered his demand in the end to 1.1 million. Some people considered him a 1st round talent and some considered him a 2nd round talent. We don't know if the Dodgers elected not to sign him because they didn't want to buck the slot system or because they felt he was 2nd round talent and not deserving of 1.1 million. Dodger fans are concerned because we've seen other HS pitchers that the Dodgers have drafted go onto to become the number one pick in the draft (Hochever and Price), so when we don't sign a highly rated HS pitcher we think we are going to see the same thing happen all over again. If all the teams were holding up slot then I'd agree with the Dodger decision to not buck the slotting system on Blair. Since we've now seen the deep pocket teams break away from the slotting system the Dodgers have to follow suit or get left behind. That doesn't mean they have to make bad decisions. The Yankee's can afford huge mistakes like this one. If he doesn't pan out they can just shrug it off. I think in the end the Dodgers decided not to buck the slot system because Blair wasn't worth the battle. The real question is why they bothered drafting him since his original demand was in the 1.5 Millon area. The Dodgers made a nice pick in the 4th round with Lambo, I would think they could have also made a worthwhile pick in the 5th instead of wasting it. I won't even start to discuss the 2005 drafting of Hochevar and wasting our number one on that draft.