2007 MLB Amateur Draft Signing Bonuses – Update
August 15th is only a month away now, and is the last day for MLB teams to sign their 2007 draft picks. On June 27, I wrote a post concerning the shrinkage of signing bonuses for this year’s crop of players [2007 MLB Amateur Draft Signing Bonuses]. At that point, I mentioned that bonuses were down about 10% from last year.
And now this new information from Allan Simpson of PGCrosschecker:
Through July 10, a total of 65 of the top 100 selections had signed—and 31, nearly half, had signed for bonuses that were precisely 10 per cent less than the corresponding slots a year ago. Moreover, only two of the 65 had agreed to contracts for bonuses that were equal to or greater than the amounts for the same slots in 2006, but in both cases the players signed for 2007 slot money.
It’s all part of Major League Baseball’s continuing efforts to slash bonuses that began in 2001, when the average bonus for first-round picks was a record $2.154 million. The average bonus this year for the 13 first-rounders who have signed is $1.437 million—a 33 percent drop in six years and a dip of 26 percent from a year ago. [Clubs Adhering to Rollback on Bonuses]
But look at how many players have not yet signed. As the deadline approaches, will teams end up spending more money to sign these players? Will agents hold more players out for a year because of the early deadline? In the end, will this 10% drop in signing bonuses be voided by the players who sign for above value price tags in the coming weeks?
Contributors and commenters on this blog seem to think that the salary situation in baseball is perfectly fine. When looking at the sharp turn in signing bonus figures over the past 6 years, some may start to change their minds. Remember that even as a high pick, it is highly unlikely that you make it in the professional league. Often times, these picks use their signing bonus money to get by for a few years and then look at a new profession. With these bonuses decreasing, it may make life tough for some of these players and their agents.
The Yankees, Red Sox, and Tigers are teams that should be breaking the current trend in signing bonus devaluation. Once again, there is still a month to see how this all plays out.