Some Added Draft and International Signing Details

New details are coming out about the draft and internationals signings, which I wanted to briefly mention here, while leaving this article open to add more details if they come in. We will have time to discuss these in the upcoming days.

I’m going to include some of the tweets by Jeff Passan from ESPN here, which also includes information on the season and possibly playing without fans, or at neutral site games, then get to the draft/international details below:

some draft and international stuff here

I talked about draft payments this morning and how this isn’t really different from the current process, though it gives them a universal standard. The news here is that teams can’t trade draft picks or international slot money for the next two years.

It’s a partially new front office, so we can’t use old standards to see whether or not this will affect the Pirates. They have traded draft picks and international slot money in the past and acquired slot money, but never in a big amount. We don’t know if the new front office will always spend all of their bonus pool money (draft and international) every year. That’s one area where the last front office group always maxed out their resources, even if it didn’t always produce results.

Based on what I know, I don’t think the inability to acquire (or trade) international slot money will have an affect with this current signing class that they are working on for July 2nd…which could happen as late as January according to the new agreement. That change of date also won’t matter because players signed on July 2nd don’t play until the following year in 99% of cases. It won’t affect their Rule 5 status either according to the new rules, but it will give teams more time to pay them, which is the point of moving it back.

If the date is pushed back, then the current signing period set to expire on June 15th, will also be extended. That doesn’t help the Pirates, as they are tapped out on their bonus pool. Maybe they find a hidden gem who has a strong summer and he’s willing to sign for $10,000, but that could have happened anyway with a new signing period starting on time.

JJ Cooper from Baseball America has a great article on everything, with some added details of note. The draft could be as few as five rounds, but could end up being more. The 2021 draft will have at least 20 rounds. Also, the slot amounts for draft picks will remain the same for these two draft classes. The draft might not move back into July, but the possibility is there for it to take place as late as July 20th. Also, the signing deadline won’t be any later than August 1st.

Finally, one thing I was unsure of this morning, was answered in this article. The draft bonus pool can only be spent on players in the top 5/10/however many rounds. So that means that every player signed as non-drafted free agents will be limited to $20,000 maximum, regardless of how much each team spends on their draft picks. That could be good if it’s ten rounds, which would limit the amount of players teams reach for in the final rounds to save money for over-slot picks after the tenth round. The best players (with reasonable bonus demands) will be getting picked where they should be selected. A novel concept.


John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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