Jim Callis of Baseball America has announced that the bonus pools for the 2012 MLB draft are set. The only player who could impact the potential bonuses would be Derrek Lee, who is expected to either retire, or sign a minor league deal. Neither option would generate a compensation pick for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The bonus pool for the Pirates is $6,563,500. That’s the 16th biggest pool in the draft, putting them far from their usual spot as one of the top spenders from the last few years. The total includes the $2.9 M that the Pirates have to spend on their first round pick, the eighth overall selection.
The Pirates will have $3,663,500 to spend on the remaining ten picks in the first ten rounds, including the compensation pick they will receive for Ryan Doumit. That figure would also include the difference of any bonus over $100,000 signed after the 10th round.
Last year the Pirates spent almost $8.5 M in draft pool eligible money after the first round. A big portion of that went to Josh Bell, who received $5 M. With the current draft pool, the Pirates could spend $2.9 M on their first round pick, and still get the same talent as the 2011 draft, minus Bell. That draft included the $1.2 M bonus paid to 9th round pick Clayton Holmes, the $600 K paid to 5th round pick Tyler Glasnow, and the $550 K paid to 7th round pick Jake Burnette.
The 2011 draft would have probably been viewed as a disappointment without Bell. The addition of Holmes helped, and Alex Dickerson looked like a potential steal in the third round, but for a team that needs to build through the draft, the Pirates needed an impact like Bell. The 2012 bonus pool will allow them to add guys like Holmes, Glasnow, and Burnette, but they’re not going to get a chance at a guy like Bell again, unless they want to pay the penalty of going over slot. That penalty would result in a 100% tax on the over-slot amount, and the loss of two first round draft picks.