Now that Ian Desmond has found a new home in Texas, the last of the 20 qualifying offer free agents has signed and we have the order of the 2016 MLB Draft. The Dodgers will have a healthy draft bonus pool of roughly $9.3 million, per Baseball America.
This is something we have been keeping track of all season, with the Dodgers starting with the 25th pick in the first round. Now, after various free agent signings with draft pick compensation, the Dodgers' first-round pick moved up to 20th in the first round.
The Dodgers made three qualifying offers to free agents at the beginning of the offseason. Brett Anderson accepted his offer and returned for one year, $15.8 million. Howie Kendrick declined his but after his market didn't materialize came back for a two-year, $20 million deal. Zack Greinke was the one who declined the offer and ended up elsewhere, and for signing with Arizona the Dodgers received a compensation pick in between the first and second rounds, No. 32 overall.
For failing to sign last year's compensation pick — Louisville pitcher Kyle Funkhouser, drafted 35th overall — the Dodgers get the No. 36 pick in 2016. The Dodgers have three picks in the first 36 selections for the first time since 2006, when they picked Clayton Kershaw at No. 7 overall, pitcher Bryan Morris 26th, and infielder Preston Mattingly 31st, the latter two selections as compensation for Jeff Weaver signing with the Angels.
The Dodgers' second-round pick is No. 65 overall, their third-round selection is No. 101, then they pick every 30 picks after that — fourth round is No. 131, fifth round at No. 161, and so on, through 40 rounds.
The draft bonus pool for every team is comprised of the allotted slot values through the first 10 rounds of the draft. Any bonus signed in the first 10 rounds counts against the pool, as does any amount over $100,000 for players in Round 11 or later.
If a team fails to sign a player within the first 10 rounds, it also loses the slot amount, which affects the total bonus pool available.
There are penalties for going over the allotted amount, but for the first 4.99 percent of overage the cost is only money, a 75-percent tax on the overage amount. Once a team hits five percent over their draft bonus pool, the penalties get more severe, with the loss of a first-round pick in the next year's draft.
The penalties increase from there, with a loss of first and second-round picks for being 10-14.99 percent over, plus a tax of 100 percent of the overage amount; and a loss of the next two first-round picks for being 15 percent or more over. But so far, nobody has gotten to five percent over, with the loss of a first-round pick thus far proving to be a successful deterrent.
Given that the Dodgers can go up to nearly five percent over their bonus pool without losing a 2017 draft pick, their effective cap this year is closer to $9.8 million than $9.3 million.
The total slot values obtained by Hudson Belinsky at Baseball America showed the Dodgers with a total draft bonus pool of just under $9.3 million, the ninth-highest total in baseball. Keep in mind this was before Yovani Gallardo, Dexter Fowler and Desmond found homes so the final draft order wasn't quite set, but this still gives us a good idea.
Using the noted roughly 4.6-percent increase over 2015, I tried to reverse engineer the values for each slot for the Dodgers in 2016, shown in the table at the right. This might be a couple thousand dollars off, likely due to a rounding error on my part. But using the 2015 slot values, this is still instructive.
For instance, the total bonus pool for the Dodgers in 2015 was $7,781,700, including the amount that went unused for Funkhouser. Using the 12 picks the Dodgers have in the first 10 rounds this year, those total slot values last year would have totaled $8,929,900. That relative increase gives the Dodgers the equivalent purchase power to — using the bonuses from the Baseball America 2015 draft database — add a prospect on the level of Phillies pitcher Thomas Eshelman, Braves catcher Lucas Herbert, Angels outfielder Jahmai Jones, Cubs pitcher Bryan Hudson, Giants shortstop Jalen Miller, players picked between 46-95 in 2015.
Keep in mind there are still 11 picks that can be traded, the Competitive Balance picks after the first and second rounds. The Dodgers added such a pick last year when they acquired Ryan Webb from the Orioles, and earlier this offseason I laid out some hypothetical scenarios in which the Dodgers might be able to add picks from each respective team in 2016.
As the draft gets closer and the exact slot amounts are revealed, this will be updated accordingly.