The 2020 MLB Draft is slated to be only five rounds, per multiple reports from national writers, including Jeff Passan and Ken Rosenthal.
A deal was reached between the MLBPA and MLB last month to abbreviate the draft, and allow for teams to defer until 2021 and 2022 all except for $100,000 of initial signing bonuses. Negotiations were reportedly ongoing to try to allow for a 10 round draft with lessened bonuses in rounds 6-10 and a limit on the number of undrafted free agents who could be signed at the top UFA dollar amount of $20,000, but those did not come to fruition.
So instead, the draft will be five rounds, and teams will be able to sign an unlimited number of undrafted free agents for up to $20,000 apiece. Slot values for rounds six through ten range from around $150,000 to $300,000 per pick, and players drafted after the tenth round could be signed for up to $125,000 without it counting against the team’s bonus pool (amounts over $125,000 did count against the bonus pool), so the players this particularly hurts are the guys who fall outside of the top 150 or so but within the top 500 draft prospects...rather than a likely low-six-figure bonus, they’ll be looking at no more than $20,000 to sign.
As we discussed earlier today, the Rangers tend to cast a wide net and have a good track record of unearthing unheralded players, and their reputation in regards to how they treat their minor leaguers is very good, so that may help them be better positioned to nab talent this year. Still, its a tough deal for several hundred players, who now will be faced with a choice between signing for $20K, or trying to go to school (where there’s likely to be fewer scholarship spots available) and hoping that there will be baseball to be played in the amateur ranks in 2021, and a more normal draft in place.