Signing free agent Freddie Freeman, who declined a qualifying offer from Atlanta, is the biggest culprit in the Dodgers’ bonus pool being so low, but he’s not the only reason.
As we went over back in March, the Dodgers gained a compensatory pick when Corey Seager signed with the Rangers, which was to be just after the fourth round. But signing Freeman cost the Dodgers their second- and fifth-highest draft picks, since they were a competitive balance tax payor in 2021. The fifth-highest pick was the extra pick for Seager. Being in the highest tier of competitive balance tax last year also caused the Dodgers’ first-round pick to drop ten slots, from 30 to 40. That technically drops the Dodgers’ first pick into the second round, after competitive balance round A.
Kyle Glaser at Baseball America has details on every slot value for the first 10 rounds of the draft.
Dodgers 2022 draft bonus pool
Bonus pools are determined by adding the slot values of every pick through the first 10 rounds. The slot values are only recommendations, but there are consequences for exceeding the bonus pool. There’s a 75-percent tax on any overage amount up to five percent over the pool. Once a team reaches five percent over, the penalties become more punitive, losing a first-round pick in the next draft. Since this system was implemented a decade ago, no MLB team has gone over five percent past the bonus pool.
For the last two drafts, slot values were frozen at 2019 levels. This year’s values, the first increase in three years, are up a little more than five percent.
Last year, the Dodgers’ draft bonus pool was $4.6 million, in a situation similar to this year in that they forfeited their second-round pick for signing a premium free agent. Last year’s signee was Trevor Bauer, who made 17 starts and who was suspended two full seasons by Major League Baseball per the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy.
The 2022 MLB Draft will be held from Sunday, July 17 through Tuesday, July 19 in Los Angeles. The first two rounds are Sunday, followed by rounds three through ten on Monday, and finishing up with rounds 11-20 on Tuesday.