The Pittsburgh Pirates and the rest of Major League Baseball have an official draft date set for 2020. When will it take place?
For a while it looked like the Pittsburgh Pirates and their new Front Office would not get a chance to draft in 2020. This would have been a huge disappointment being that the Pittsburgh Pirates have the seventh, 31st, and 44th overall picks to start of their draft. On top of that, Ben Cherington and Assistant General Manager Steve Sanders are considered to be two of the best at finding talent through the draft.
The good news is that there will be a draft this year. The MLB and MLBPA agreed upon the framework for the 2020 MLB Draft. Now, the Bucs Front Office is still going to be limited by this agreement. The major change in this will be that instead of the traditional 40 rounds, the draft will only be five rounds. This is less rounds than expected, but the owners are concerned about being spending a typical amount of money in an abnormal circumstance.
As always, Ken Rosenthal has done a great job of outlining the new framework for this year’s draft. Here are some notes from his column at The Athletic:
"“MLB wanted to reduce the size of the draft, which lasts 40 rounds in a normal season, as a cost-savings measure. The March agreement stipulated the draft could be held at any length between five and 40 rounds. But the expectation was it would not hold a draft longer than 10 rounds.”"
Rosenthal continues to explain how the process will work for teams trying to sign undrafted free agents. Obviously there are going to be a lot more undrafted free agents this year than normal, but also likely a lot more prep players going to college. Here are the rules for those undrafted amateur players:
"“After the fifth round, teams can sign an unlimited number of undrafted players for a maximum bonus of $20,000.”"
This really limits both teams and players. There are a lot of players that will not get drafted that normally would assume to be. It will be interesting to see how teams change their strategy based on these restrictions.
The good news is that the Pittsburgh Pirates have some of the top picks in this year’s draft. They still will have one of the biggest draft bonus pools as well. Even with a reduced amount of rounds, Ben Cherington should be able to be very aggressive in his approach. The 2020 Major League Baseball Draft will take place on June 10th and 11th.