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Dodgers’ MLB Draft bonus pool is just over $4.6 million

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The 2021 draft starts Sunday and runs through Tuesday

2020 Major League Baseball Draft Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Dodgers have a total bonus pool of just over $4.6 million, the second-lowest figure in the 2021 MLB Draft, which begins with the first round on Sunday night (4 p.m. PT, ESPN).

The bonus pool is determined by the recommended slot values of each draft pick in the first 10 rounds. The draft this year is 20 rounds, and for rounds 11-20 the only amounts counted against the total bonus pool are the amount signing bonuses are over $125,000.

By owning the best record in 2020, the Dodgers have the last pick in each round, which contributes to the relatively low total bonus pool. But they also forfeited their second-round pick for signing Trevor Bauer to a free agent contract, giving the Dodgers a total bonus pool of $4,646,700.

Dodgers 2021 draft bonus pool

Round Overall pick Slot value
Round Overall pick Slot value
1 29 $2,424,600
3 101 $577,000
4 131 $430,800
5 162 $318,200
6 192 $247,000
7 222 $194,400
8 252 $162,700
9 282 $149,800
10 312 $142,200
Totals $4,646,700
From Jim Callis at MLB.com and Carlos Collazo at Baseball America

The only team with a smaller bonus pool is the Astros, who forfeited first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021, the part of MLB’s punishment for Houston’s sign stealing scandal that had the most teeth. The Astros’ total bonus pool is $2,940,600, per Jim Callis at MLB.com.

This year’s recommended slot values are the same as 2020 and 2019, a bargaining chip the players association agreed to as part of the agreement between MLB owners for the 2020 season to begin.

Each draft pick has a slot value, though it’s only a recommendation. Some bonuses go over, some under, depending on how teams want to allocate their total bonus pool.

There’s a 75-percent penalty for exceeding the total bonus pool by between 0-4.99 percent, but overage of five percent and higher brings with it a loss of a future first-round pick in addition to the 75-percent tax. Higher overages have more progressive penalties. Since the current draft bonus rules were enacted in 2012, no team had an overage of five percent.

The Dodgers have exceeded the total bonus pool in every year of the new system, usually by just under five percent. In last year’s five-round draft, the Dodgers had a $5.9 million bonus pool and spent 4.99 percent over, $820 shy of what would have incurred a draft pick penalty, for instance.