Jeff Passan and Kiley McDaniel of ESPN reported that the MLB amateur draft will be truncated to just five rounds in 2020. As a result, it could have a big impact on the Colorado Rockies for the foreseeable future.
With the fallout of COVID-19, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally ruled that this year’s draft will be shortened to five rounds after MLB and the MLBPA could not come to an agreement on what the draft would look like, per Jeff Passan and Kiley McDaniel of ESPN. For the Colorado Rockies, they could be impacted in a big way for years to come with the decision.
As a part of Manfred’s decision, there will only be five rounds. The Rockies will have the ninth and 35th overall picks in the first round of the draft so they will possibly have a few more picks than that of other teams but even then, the Rockies will still likely only have six or seven draft picks.
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For players that don’t get drafted in the five rounds, they will only be able to sign with a team as an amateur free agent with a maximum of a $20,000 signing bonus. Regularly, for players in the sixth draft and on, they get signing bonuses well north of $100,000 depending on the round they are drafted in. So, this year, many of the players that aren’t drafted will likely just decide to go play at college.
Having a shortened draft will obviously shrink the number of players at the lower levels of the minor leagues but unfortunately, in 2020 and beyond, it may not mean much.
With MLB rosters possibly being as large as 50 players when games likely return this summer and with Minor League Baseball potentially shrinking down to 120 teams (four per MLB parent club), it’s a big red flag for minor league teams that there may not even be baseball for them in 2020.
Even worse, with that, some of these franchises may have already played their final game and did not even know it when it happened (and nobody could have known that).
Hopefully, that won’t be the case so, at the bare minimum, the eliminated teams can have a proper sendoff. We should know more about the developments this week as dozens of states are starting to reopen and life as we previously knew it will soon return.