The 2020 Major League Baseball Draft will be shown live, in its entirety on both MLB Network and ESPN/ESPN2. The draft this year is very different from the past, usually a 40-round affair that takes place over three days. This year the draft is just a 5-round ordeal and will take place over two days.

Yesterday Major League Baseball announced that the draft this year would be on both MLB Network and ESPN/ESPN2 on June 10th and June 11th. The first day of the draft will be the full first round, including the competitive balance 1st round and will be on MLB Network and ESPN with picks beginning at 7pm ET. Day two of the draft will be rounds 2-5 and will be on MLB Network and ESPN2, with the picks beginning at 5pm ET.

While the broadcasts will be similar because they are covering the same event, the two broadcasts are going to be produced by each network and will be different. There will be different video available on each broadcast, as well as different analysis as both will rely on their “studio” talent to provide reports and thoughts on the players.

The same bonus pool rules apply in 2020 as they have in the past. Each pick has a slot value attached to it and a team can use that total amount however they like, assuming they sign the picks. You can go up to 5% over that total amount while only paying an overage tax on it – but if you go beyond 5% you forfeit the following years 1st round draft pick. No team has ever gone beyond 5%.

The Cincinnati Reds will have six picks in this years draft. They have the 12th pick in each round this year, and they also have a competitive balance round B pick, following the second round. Here’s where Cincinnati will select:

  • 12th
  • 48th
  • 65th
  • 84th
  • 113th
  • 143rd

Their total bonus slot pool allowance is $8,552,100. They can technically spend up to $8,979,705 before going over that 5% threshold that would cost them their 2021 first round pick.

For the Reds, and for the draft picks that sign, they won’t be spending or seeing anywhere near that amount of money this year. If the Reds sign everyone this year to a slot deal, they will only be writing out $600,000 worth of checks to their draft picks. This year players will only get up to $100,000 of their signing bonus (or if they agree to sign for less than that, they will get their full bonus). The remaining balance beyond that will be paid out in two installments, with half of what’s left being due in July of 2021, and the other half in July of 2022.

Teams can also sign undrafted players that are eligible. But they can only get up to $20,000 as a signing bonus. The date to sign for non-seniors has been pushed back in 2020 as well. Players will now have until August 1st to sign instead of July 10th.

If you are interested in scouting reports on the top players in the draft, we’ve been working our way through all of the potential 1st rounders for the last six weeks. You can see all of our published 2020 Major League Baseball Scouting Reports in the series at this link.

3 Responses

  1. MK

    Hopefully MLB got more than a one year deal from ESPN. ESPN is hard up for any live sports to cover right now so baseball should have been able to get a multiple year deal,

    • Mjc

      Mk, I agree using today’s leverage for tomorrow.but if that was the case espn would have wanted the 10 rounds.either way you make a good point.

    • Greenfield Red

      I get what you are saying, but personally I couldn’t care less if ESPN got more than a year or not. In fact, I don’t think ESPN cares if they get a multiyear deal.

      That network, along with The Weather Channel, my wife’s favorite (HGTV), and most of the others have long since switched from it’s core subject to it’s political subject disguised as the core subject. They can all boil in their own soup for all I care.

      Sorry Doug for nudging up to a line that can’t be crossed, especially on a Sunday morning. If you think it’s too much and want to take it down, I understand.