We have reached the week of the MLB Draft, which has blossomed into a three-day event, starting Thursday night with the first two rounds televised by MLB Network.
The Dodgers had the sixth-best record in baseball in 2015, but the have the ninth-highest bonus pool at their disposal. That is thanks to the Dodgers getting a pick, No. 32 overall, for Zack Greinke signing with the Diamondbacks, and getting another compensatory pick, No. 36 overall, for failing to sign Kyle Funkhouser, the No. 35 overall pick in 2015.
We looked at an estimate of the bonus pool back in February, but now thanks to MLB.com, we have the final figures. The Dodgers will have a bonus pool of $9,336,500 to spend in 2016.
The bonus pool is made up from picks from the first 10 rounds. Every signing bonus for those selections — the Dodgers have 12 total picks — counts against the pool, and those picks must be signed in order to use the MLB-allotted slot value for the pick in question. The Dodgers, for instance, had their bonus pool diminished by $1.756,100 in 2015 for failing to come to terms with Funkhouser.
In addition, any signing bonus for rounds 11-40 that is over $100,000 will have the overage amount count against the pool. Last year the Dodgers signed 11th-round pick Imani Abdullah for $647,500, of which $547,500 counted against the pool, for instance.
There are penalties for spending over the allotted bonus pool, but up until five percent over the punishment is only cash. After that, teams can start losing picks, something that hasn't happened yet in the first four years under this system.
- 0-4.99% over: 75% tax on overage amount
- 5-9.99% over: 75% tax on overage amount and loss of next year's first-round pick
- 10-14.99% over: 100% overage tax, and loss of first- and second-round picks
- 15%+ over: 100% overage tax, and loss of first-round pick in next two drafts
In other words, even though the Dodgers' bonus pool totals $9,336,500, they can spend another $466,824 (just shy of five percent) without losing a pick, making their effective bonus pool limit $9,803,324.
Last year, the Dodgers' total bonus pool was $6,025,600, and they spent $6,326,100, or 4.99 percent over their allotted total, just $780 shy of forfeiting a draft pick.
The deadline to sign draft picks is Friday, July 15.