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Dodgers 2014 MLB Draft bonus pool totals just under $5 million

Mike Stobe

The Dodgers will have a draft bonus pool of just under $5 million to spend on signing bonuses for their selections in the 2014 MLB Draft, which begins Thursday evening in New Jersey.

Under the collective bargaining agreement which began in 2012, MLB imposed a slotting system with a set value for every pick, and penalties for teams that spend more than their alloted amount. The Dodgers pick at No. 22 in the first round, with a slot value of $1,980,500, per Baseball America.

The Dodgers picked at No. 18 in 2013, and spent the full slot value of $2,109,900 on Chris Anderson. This year, the No. 18 pick, owned by the Nationals, has a slot value of $2,145.600.

Major League Baseball assigns slot values for every pick through the 10th round. The total draft signing bonus pool available for the Dodgers is $4,947,700. The Astros, who pick first overall and much higher than the Dodgers in every round, have a total signing bonus pool of $13,362,200.

Every dollar paid to picks in the first 10 rounds count toward the bonus pool, as does the amount of any signing bonus over $100,000 for any pick after the 10th round. The Dodgers in 2013 paid 11th-round pick Spencer Navin a $300,000 bonus and paid 17th-rounder Greg Harris a $175,000 bonus; of those bonuses, $200,000 and $75,000 respectively counted toward the Dodgers signing bonus pool.

If a pick in the first 10 rounds goes unsigned, the team loses that slot amount, which leads to teams often signing sure-to-sign placeholders in order to keep the bonus amount for potential later picks. The Dodgers paid ninth-round pick Hank Yates and 10th-round pick Nick Keener a paltry $5,000 each last year.

The penalties for spending more than the alloted bonus pool are as follows:

Excess amount Dodgers 2014 range Penalties
0-4.99% $4,947,701 - $5,195,084 75% tax on overage
5-9.99% $5,195,085 - $5,442,469 75% tax on overage
loss of first round pick
10-14.99% $5,442,470 - $5,689,854 100% tax on overage
loss of first and second round picks
15%+ $5,689,855+ 100% tax on overage
loss of first round picks in next two drafts
Per collective bargaining agreement

The Dodgers were slighly over their slotted bonus allotment in 2013, but not five percent over, so they only had to pay a 75 percent overage tax and didn't forfeit any future picks.