As MLB and players begin to make plans to bring baseball back in 2020, the league is moving forward with a plan that will dramatically shake up the 2020 MLB Draft.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft will only be five rounds this year, with teams then allowed to sign any undrafted players for a maximum of $20,000. The deal comes after the MLB Players’ Association reached an agreement with the league in March on a plan that allowed MLB to dictate the length of this year’s draft.
The MLB Amateur Draft is typically 40 rounds, but team owners have been seeking to significantly reduce the size of it for years. As part of their plans to reduce the number of MiLB teams in future seasons, the league took a step towards that on Friday by reducing the number of players that will be drafted.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the suspension of high school and collegiate baseball seasons. As a result, MLB teams have been limited during their draft evaluation process to seeing individual workouts and depending on watching games that were played before the pandemic hit.
While a specific date hasn’t been set for the 2020 MLB Draft, it will be held on June 10 as part of the agreement the MLBPA reached with league officials. As part of the agreement, MLB players received $170 million to be divided among active players during the suspended season.
The move to reduce this year’s draft from 40 rounds to five will come with significant financial savings for team owners. Unfortunately, it will come at the cost of hundreds of baseball players who now won’t get an opportunity to be drafted and likely won’t even get a chance to play in the minors.