La Velle E. Neal III's Sunday Insider: MLB draft runs teams dry

The cost of signing top young talent took another monumental leap this year, raising more red flags for Bud Selig.

hide

North Carolina shortstop Levi Michael was the Twins’ No. 1 draft pick this year. Like so many other players, he took his negotiations down to the final hours.

Photo: Gerry Broome, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

There's a number being talked about in baseball circles these days. It has nothing to do with Jim Thome joining the 600-home run club.

The number is 17. No, it's not the number of grand slams the Yankees might hit this year, or how many times the Twins might use the disabled list this month.

Major league teams this summer committed $236,059,050 to players selected in the June draft. That easily beats last year's record of $201,832,830. It's a 17 percent increase.

"That's a tough pace to keep up," said Paul DePodesta, the Mets' vice president of player development and scouting.

Within that, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a record $8 million to sign No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole. Then they signed second-round pick Josh Bell for $5 million, a record for a non-first-rounder.

MLB has bonus recommendations for the first several rounds of the draft. Few teams are paying attention to them. That includes the Twins, who went over the league's recommendation with their first three picks.

A chunk of the money was dished out during the final hours of the draft. The Twins, for instance, announced 11 signings after the deadline passed, with negotiations with first-round pick Levi Michael and supplemental-round picks Travis Harrison and Hudson Boyd going down to around the final hour.

Agents know that if their clients wait until the last minute, they can get more money.

So $236 million left MLB bank accounts and went to unproven talent. That has led to plenty of talk about what to do with the escalating signing bonuses.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig wants slotting for each pick as a way to control spending. The league is expected to ask for restrictions on bonuses during negotiations for the next collective bargaining agreement, which ends after this season.

Signing bonuses were a topic this past week in Minneapolis, where the 2011 International, Farm and Scouting meetings took place.

Officials point out how scouting is an inexact science, and they have to remember that many prospects will never reach the majors. So, no matter how much is spent, some of their investments will never pay off.

Some have argued that they need the flexibility to keep high school players from going to college, that the Harrisons of the world would go to USC instead of signing with the Twins for more than was recommended. DePodesta argued that, in the end, if a player wants to go pro he will sign as soon as he knows he can't get a higher bonus.

No one is sure how the player's association will respond to MLB's concerns. Indications are that the league has never pushed for slotting the way it is expected to push for it this time.

"It will certainly be interesting to see what happens out of this collective bargaining negotiation," DePodesta said. "I don't know if anyone was terribly happy with the escalation of the signing bonuses."

  • related content

  • Sunday Insider: Central Intelligence

    Sunday August 28, 2011

    Give the Indians credit. They have added Ubaldo Jimenez, Kosuke Fukudome and now Jim Thome in an attempt to make...

  • Sunday Insider: The 3-2 pitch

    Sunday August 28, 2011

    Three observations ...• Everyone is raving about the Yankees' offense, but good pitching can slow down good hitting. The Yankees'...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Arizona «0000500106140
Minnesota001000100270
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:J.Collmenter(11-8) L:R.Nolasco(5-12)
HR: ARI- M.Trumbo (12) MIN- None

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Texas - WP: D. Holland 4
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: R. Nolasco 2
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 4 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Samardzija 8
San Francisco - WP: S. Casilla 5 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: E. Stults 1
Chicago 27 FINAL
NY Jets 19
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Dallas 4
Anaheim 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 5
Arizona 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close