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2020 MLB Draft

What Impact 2020 MLB Draft Could Have On Yankees

As Major League Baseball awaits the all clear to begin the 2020 season because of the Coronavirus pandemic, MLB and the MLB Players’ Association agreed to specific terms last week for the season once it resumes play.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan shared the key details of the agreement:

 

 

From the Major League side, the one thing that could hurt the Yankees going forward is if they make the postseason and the postseason goes into mid-November, they could be playing postseason games at neutral sites. At the same time, they do get the added break of likely being close to, if not at full strength, if/when the season begins.

While the Major League squad probably doesn’t take too big of a hit, the part about the MLB Draft and international signings could have a ripple effect going forward. Kiley McDaniel of ESPN was the first to report on the framework of the deal that mentioned the MLB Draft last Thursday:

If the draft does stay at 5 rounds at some point in July, it hurts the Yankees’ ability to bring in a lot of top-tier talent. As of right now, they would only have 3 picks (1st Round, 3rd Round, 4th Round). They lost their 2nd and 5th Round picks due to signing ace pitcher Gerrit Cole this past winter.

We had McDaniel on the podcast on Tuesday night and one of the things he mentioned was while the track record of teams with not many picks early in the draft is not good, the Yankees are a team that have a shot to change that trend.

“The track record of those draft classes, that team working from behind, almost never have a good result,” said McDaniel about teams that have a small amount of picks in Top 5 rounds.

“If there was a team that I think could figure out how to make this work from themselves,  it would be the Yankees,” said McDaniel, who also mentioned the Dodgers and the Rays.

Now, nobody is suggesting that the Yankees should not have signed Cole because the goal is still to win a World Series. With that being said, having only 3 picks limits whether or not the Yankees can take a top prep player and risk him saying no and going to play college baseball.

Plus, the bonus pools from last year remain the same. Since that is the case, if the MLB Draft is only 5 rounds, New York would only have a total of $3,509,800 in their pool to spend on draft picks. If it is 10 rounds, the number goes up to $4,419,500. These numbers are courtesy of Baseball America.

As we all know, we are in a completely different world, so no team has it easy and it pales in comparison to what is happening around the globe. That is a key thing to keep in mind.

The Yankees will most likely have to look at trying to get top college talent with their 3 picks so that they would be easier to sign (should it be 5 rounds). The wrinkle in that problem though is that the NCAA decided Monday to grant spring athletes an extra year of eligibility in spring sports:

Since the roster limits are being expanded, this allows seniors the option to go back to school one more year and juniors can now decide if they want to sign either after being drafted or undrafted ($20,000 max) or go back to school.

With that being said, the Yankees do have an advantage compared to other organizations in the fact they have a lot of teams in the lower levels of minor leagues. They have a Dominican Summer League squad, 2 Gulf Coast League teams, a Rookie-ball squad in Pulaski, and a Short-Season squad in Staten Island.

In addition to the draft changes, the international signing period is also going to get pushed back from July to potentially January 2021. With the new rules that you can’t trade international slot money, that also hurts the Yankees because they would usually trade fringe prospects in order to acquire the slot money to add more premier talent (i.e Caleb Frare to the White Sox)

It is a new change in baseball for the time being. Right now, everyone wants to get back to games again. But, it’s safe to say there won’t be much top talent going into the Yankees system for the foreseeable future.

Written By

I am an alum of St. John's University, where I majored in sports management.

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