Major League Baseball announced the 2019-2020 international bonus pools on Thursday. The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of eight teams that will have $6,481,200 to spend from July 2, 2019 until June 15, 2020. That will make it their biggest budget ever on the international side.
The teams getting the top bonus pools are changed every other year between the clubs that receive Competitive Balance picks in the amateur draft. Since the Pirates received their CB pick after the second round this year (72nd overall), that means that they have the top bonus pool on the international side. Last year, the Pirates received the 36th overall pick in the draft, so they had a lower international bonus pool, starting with $5,504,500 before they picked up another $500,000 worth of bonus pool space in the Ivan Nova trade.
The next level of spending this year is $5,939,800, which gives the Pirates an extra $541,400 to spend over the next eight teams. The clubs that don’t get Competitive Balance picks (and don’t have penalties for free agent signings) will be able to spend $5,398,300.
The Atlanta Braves are under severe penalties still and have $0 in their international bonus pool, which means that they can’t sign anyone for more than $10,000. Any bonus of $10,000 or less is exempt from each team’s bonus pool.