Baseball America Announces Draft and International Bonus Pools For Pirates

Baseball America posted the bonus pool information for both the amateur draft and the international pool. The draft pool is just a rough figure at this time, as the Pirates final draft placement hasn’t been decided for any round. The international pool won’t change.

For the draft pool, Yovani Gallardo, Ian Desmond and Dexter Fowler all are unsigned at this point. Since they all got qualifying offers, their 2015 club will get a compensation pick, assuming they sign before the draft and they don’t re-sign with their original team. That could negatively affect any pick after the first round, depending on who signs them. The Pirates first round pick is #24 now, but could end up as high as #21 if three teams with unprotected first round picks sign those players.

Baseball America places the Pirates’ 2016 draft bonus pool at $6,945,400 right now, and their final total will end up in that general area. Last year, the Pirates had a $7,392,200 bonus pool, so they lost over $400,000 by finishing higher in the standings. That’s even with a 4.6% increase in the value of each pick through the first ten rounds.

The international pool will be $2,044,800, which is $67,100 less than last year. The 2016 signing period starts on July 2nd and runs through June 15, 2017. Only the St Louis Cardinals have a lower bonus pool, as they were the only team with a better record than the Pirates in 2015. With the known signing bonus amounts, the Pirates have spent $1,495,000 on international signings this current signing period, though they have signed multiple players who haven’t had their bonus announced yet. This current signing period ends on June 15th.

  • Thanks

  • Curious now that they have an idea about the money they will be spending would it make sense to go after one of the QO free agents. Ian Desmond or Gallardo?

    • No, because they would lose their first round pick if they signed either of those players, and with that, they would lose about $2M worth of draft money to spend. The Pirates already had a rough estimate of what their draft/int’l pool would be, this news to us last night, was not new to them.

  • John,
    Can a team spend over their Draft Bonus Pool? And if so, what is the penalty if they do so?

    • The first 5% teams go over, they pay a 75% penalty tax on. After that, you lose draft picks and pay a tax

  • 98 wins; 2nd best record in baseball. Good enough for a wild card game and getting 2nd worse bonus pool. Anyone else see a problem with these rules.

    • If you check the link, you’ll see that those small market Philadelphia Phillies have an extra $10M+ more than the Pirates to spend on amateur players this year. It’s obviously not fair, but you definitely want to be on the low end of the bonus pools every year.

      • I think the beef is with how they slot the playoff teams. in the NFL the two Super Bowl teams pick last. That is how the MLB should be. The Royals should not be in front of the Pirates. The goal is to win the World Series, not have the best record in baseball. So the Royals were the most successful team in baseball. They should be last in drafting and bonus pools.

      • Agreed. My point was that the teams that get the Wild Card byes should all be ranked ahead of the pirates for bonus pool and draft purposes. If you are going to put so much weight on winning a division than it should show up in the bonus pool position and the amateur draft. There should just be some consistency. Here, you get really penalized for having a great record but not winning the division.

  • Is all of this to be reworked in the new CBA? And until then will the Dodgers continue to gobble up players? At this rate, might as well buy a South American country while oil is low. Save on RHP.

    • They can sign players not under the international signing pool rules(basically older foreign players), but the Dodgers exceeded their bonus pool by more than 15% last year, so they can’t sign anyone for more than $300,000 during the 2016-17 period.

      • Yeah they have to wait a whole year before they throw as much money as possible around again. Yippee.

        • Not very much punishment, because they can just turn to Cuba or other countries where they will not be bound by conditions of the International “draft”. I think the Yankees also have that every-other-year plan fully in place. They went big in 2012, then In 2014 they spent more than $11 mil on 8 or 9 of the Top 30 players – 4 possible shortstops. But, they did pay their penalty, and are patiently waiting for 2016 so they can outspend everybody else again.

          MLB reacted very quickly when the Pirates were playing fast and loose with the Amateur Draft – they do not seem to have that same energy when they have to face the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, and others who will do the same as soon as their TV money hits the bank account. The next will be the D’Backs and Cardinals.

          • The punishment is two years without big spending if they go more than 15% over, not one year

            • Thank you for the clarification. Is there anything in the works to stop the massive spending abuse when they are not under restriction? Maybe a penalty that reflects the amount exceeding the team limit? For instance, the team limit is $4 mil and they spend $5 mil that would amount to 25% over limit, and a penalty of 25% of the $1mil over or $250K. If you have a limit of $4 mil and spend $8 mil you have exceeded your limit by 100% so 100% of the amount over of $4 mil would amount to a $4 mil penalty. Could that get their attention?

              • It might be dealt with in the future, but now the only thing standing in the way is other teams bidding them up

        • It’s actually the next two years they can’t spend more than $300,000 on any single player and can’t exceed their bonus pool either

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