Though there had been talk about pushing the draft back to July, Jon Heyman reported on Tuesday that MLB is still planning on the original scheduled date of June 10. The draft will be held virtually rather than being on site at the College World Series in Omaha, but we just saw from the NFL draft that such an undertaking can be pulled off quite successfully.
And yes, I realize full well that these are entirely different animals and that MLB’s version won’t come close to football’s ratings.
The draft itself will also be drastically reduced, though it’s not yet known whether it will be five or 10 rounds. Either way, the drop from 40 rounds means there’ll be significantly fewer players entering the professional ranks. Some of that will be mitigated by what figures to be an incredibly robust undrafted free agent pool, but a $20,000 max on bonuses for those players could put a damper on things.
Think about it: If you’re a potential sixth-round pick and you miss out on the draft, are you going to join the Orioles for a mere $20K? This setup could be a way for more desireable teams to cherry-pick players without remaining college eligibility, or those who see value in choosing their organization, at a much lower cost than usual. And let’s be honest, cutting back on spending is the real motivation here for the league.
One event that will be pushed back in order to hold it live and in person is the 2020 Hall of Fame induction. Originally slated for July 24-26, the ceremony will be postponed and held in conjunction with next year’s event. That’s bad news for Larry Walker, who’d already purchased a new set of jorts and dad sandals for the occasion, but Derek Jeter lucked out because he didn’t have to send a gift basket to the old dates.