MLB Draft Reportedly Likely to Be in July; May Be Shortened with Bonus Deferrals

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2020

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announces Adley Rutschman, a catcher from Oregon State University, as the No. 1 selection by the Baltimore Orioles in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft, Monday, June 3, 2019, in Secaucus, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

The delay of the 2020 MLB season amid the coronavirus pandemic could also force the league to push back the MLB draft. 

Kiley McDaniel of ESPN reported Thursday the draft is "increasingly likely to happen in July" instead of the currently scheduled date of June 10.

The event could also be shortened while including bonus deferrals, saving teams money amid cash-flow problems that have come with the league currently on hiatus. 

The league had previously considered skipping the draft altogether, according to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press.

With $400 million handed out to prospects in signing bonuses alone each season, per Blum, franchises are looking for ways to save money.

The Baltimore Orioles set a record last season by giving No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman a bonus of $8.1 million, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Per McDaniel, a compromise for 2020 could create a draft that lasts from five to 10 rounds (instead of the current 40 rounds) with the majority of bonus payments coming in July 2021 and July 2022. Teams could then sign the remaining undrafted players with a maximum bonus of $10,000.

There is currently no set date for the MLB season to resume, but commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday on SportsCenter that playing 162 games is not likely, via Jim Reineking of USA Today.

"My optimistic outlook is that at some point in May we’ll be gearing back up," Manfred said. "We’ll have to make a determination depending on what the precise date is as to how much of a preparation period we need."

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