Multiple reports are coming out stating that the 2020 MLB Draft will consist of five rounds and be held on June 10-11. No official announcement from MLB yet, but this was a possibility ever since they announced a month ago that the amount of rounds and date of the draft could change. They agreed back then that they could go as low as 5-10 rounds, but 40 rounds was still a possibility. The original date of the draft remains the same.

The Pittsburgh Pirates will have the fifth highest bonus pool in the draft this year and they will make a total of six selections, including their competitive balance pick (31st overall).

Here are the slot amounts and spots where the Pirates will make their selections:

7th: $5,432,400

31st: $2,312,000

44th: $1,689,500

79th: $780,400

108th: $538,200

138th: $402,000

Teams will also be able to sign non-drafted free agents for as much as $20,000 each. According to Joel Sherman, there won’t be a limit on the number of players signed for that amount.

Under normal circumstances, a very large majority of the players who sign for $20,000 or less are college seniors, since they have no bargaining leverage. Very few college juniors or JUCO players sign for that amount, so we will see if the changes in the draft this year results in more younger players signing. It’s highly unlikely that any high school players will sign for that amount, especially if they have a decent college commitment, so they will need to be taken in the first five rounds.

This draft setup hurts the Pirates this year because it takes away their chance to add over-slot talent. It also takes away part of the advantage with having a larger bonus pool. It’s a different front office in charge now, but in the past the Pirates always pushed their draft bonus pool to the limits, including the 5% overage allowed (with tax penalty).

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