Pirates Have the Highest Draft Bonus Pool in 2023

By winning the first overall pick in the 2023 MLB draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates ended up with the highest draft bonus pool this year. According to numbers posted by Jim Callis from MLB Pipeline, the Pirates will have a $16,185,700 bonus pool for the first ten rounds of this year’s draft.

Callis notes that the Pirates bonus pool is the third highest since the bonus pool system went into place in 2012. The value of the first overall pick is the highest ever, valued at $9,721,000. The Pirates also have a competitive balance pick after the second round, along with the third overall picks in rounds 2-10.

Here are the values for each of the 11 picks of the Pirates that are covered by the draft bonus pool. Picks after the tenth round 

1st – $9,721,000

2nd – $2,045,900

Comp Balance – $1,128,200

3rd – $990,300

4th – $646,900

5th – $455,600

6th – $351,400

7th – $273,800

8th – $216,900

9th – $184,500

10th – $171,200

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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that is one large bonus pool. can get some nice talent if they’re aggressive!


What always jumps out at me is how quickly the slot amounts drop from 1-1 to 1-4 or 1-5. Right now there seems to be a sizeable enough gap between Crews/Skenes and the rest that you’d take one of them. But now that Langford is healthy, perhaps he closes the gap so that we have a Davis-type draft by drafting a guy projected to go 4th or 5th, sign him for under slot, and then go big later.

Wilbur Miller

So who has to explain to Bob that they don’t actually GET the money?


Every year some idiots always say that Bob is too cheap to spend all that cash. That he wants to pocket the rest.


Same thing with the international money. I remember hearing that charge flung around when they traded someone for bonus pool money. Maybe Jarrod Dyson?

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

So with the 5% overage, that gives them roughly $5K shy of $17M. Therefore, draft Dylan Crews 1-1 and hand him $8.5M (beats Torky by $100K), get Skenes to tell everyone he’s not signing for less than $10M so no one drafts him, and Pirates draft him 2nd round for $8.4M. Leaves them about $95K to just draft college SRs.


Lol, that’s what I’m talking about. I like where your heads at man


That is nice to dream about, but with the Nationals sitting 2nd with a slot amount of about $9MM, there’s no way Skenes would drop. What could make this work is if someone like Dollander drops to the lower part of the top 10, then no team could afford what the Pirates would have available under your plan. Maybe the dream combo would be Skenes and Langford if Langford drops like, say, Rendon did.


shut up nerd. 😉


It’s because Dollander goes to TN. Me guess is that he is a little biased.


I want Jeff to take over GM role right now
Make it happen!


I suggested this a week or so ago. Some one said there wouldn’t be enough money. But I fully agree with you. It makes sense to me. It may be the caffeine I’ve ingested but for some reason I think they may try it. You have any contacts with Ben to suggest it?


Jeff yes. Bucs and Pucks, no!!

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Well, I did meet and take a picture with Ben in Bradenton while at one of the games. So, I guess that basically makes us best friends now?


For sure. I bumped into the lead singer from Breaking Benjamin in Greensburg about 15 years ago. I said “nice show buddy”. Not a man of many words. Probably why we haven’t been in touch. Still consider him like a brother though.


Kinda like the rangers and brock porter last year!


Crews’ hit streak ended last night, but he still had 2 walks, 0-2




The slotting system is strange in many ways, strangest of all though is the huge amount of 1st round bonuses. So many never make it yet they get so much cash. It makes little sense in baseball vs. basketball or football where you can be more certain. It really makes the 2021 strategy attractive.


And yet you’ll almost always find more success in those first 30 picks than the next 500 combined.


It makes that strategy attractive if there isn’t really an ideal guy to give full freight to. It also makes it easier to talk yourself out of better 1-1 options like Marcelo Mayer.

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