Major League Baseball, whose 2020 season is currently on hold thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that pushed back its Opening Day, has announced yet another alteration to its plans thanks to this year’s circumstances.
The 2020 MLB Draft, which was scheduled to feature 40 rounds as it has every year since the Draft was cut from 50 rounds in 2012, will only have 5 rounds for a total of under 200 picks.
An agreement that Major League Baseball reached with the MLB Players’ Association during the work suspension allowed for them to reduce this year’s draft in order to save money for teams that are suffering financially thanks to the lack of game action.
Some of the new rules that apply to this year’s reduced draft include a mechanism that allows teams to pay signing bonuses in a gradual fashion, only requiring them to fully pay the players that they sign by summer 2022.
In addition, players who are not selected in this year’s draft will only be allowed to sign for a maximum amount of $20,000 in order to continue their professional careers.
This move is expected to have a significant effect on the structure of Minor League Baseball and team farm systems in the future, as the number of players that they will add this summer will fall sharply.