Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How Much Will The Rays 2011 Draft Cost?

There are reports that Felipe Lopez is going to sign a minor league deal with the Rays. The most exciting part about his signing to me is that it will mean the 2011 draft order is finally set, as Lopez was the only remaining unsigned Type A or B free agent. Since it's reported to be a minor league deal, the Red Sox will not receive a compensation pick for him (if he would have signed a major league deal they would have received a supplemental first round pick, number 48 overall).

With that settled, we can try to estimate how much the draft will cost the Rays in signing bonuses. There haven't been any reports yet on whether MLB will increase or decrease it's recommended slot amounts for 2011, so I'm going to assume for this article that they remain the same as 2010. Some of the picks will sign for over-slot and some under-slot, but let's see what it would cost if every pick signs right at the slot amount.

Here are the Rays picks, by overall pick number, in the first 5 rounds:

1st - 24, 31, 32
Supplemental 1st - 38, 41, 42, 52, 56, 59, 60
2nd - 75, 89
3rd - 119
4th - 150
5th - 180

The Rays will also have 45 more picks in rounds 6 through 50, but the vast majority of the Rays draft budget will be spent on the first 5 rounds. Here is what the MLB recommended signing bonuses were for each of the above picks in 2010:

24th - $1,242,000
31st - 972,000
32nd - 954,000
38th - 858,600
41st - 815,400
42nd - 802,800
52nd - 684,000
56th - 643,500
59th - 614,700
60th - 605,700
75th - 485,100
89th - 392,400
119th - 250,000
150th - 169,200
180th - 131,600

This means that the Rays will spend $9,621,000 on the first 5 rounds alone if every player signs at slot, or if the over-slot and under-slot amounts cancel each other out. For the entire 2010 draft the Rays paid $7,200,000.

We still need to estimate the cost of the 45 picks in rounds 6 through 50. For rounds 6 through 10 let's assume the Rays stay at slot and pay each player $125,000, or $625,000 total. Last year the Rays went over-slot to sign Jesse Hahn in the 6th round ($525,000) and Jake DePew in the 9th round ($460,000), but with the increased costs of the first 5 rounds I don't think they will be able to do that this year. For the 40 remaining picks in rounds 11 through 50 let's assume an average of $25,000, which will add another $1,000,000 to the total.

That gives us a grand total of $11,246,000, a $4,046,000 increase from 2010. That is a lot of money for the budget-conscious Rays and their 40-some million dollar payroll. But it should bring a huge influx of talent to the organization for less than the cost of one mid-level free agent. Remember, it's still about $5 million less than they spent for a year and change of the great Pat Burrell.

This is only a rough estimate, and many picks will not sign (18 didn't sign in 2010). But I wouldn't be surprised if the Rays end up spending between 11 and 12 million dollars on players this June.


  1. Sorry if the writing is a little choppy in this one. No power at home so I'm at the local library, with about 500 kids running around screaming. Kind of hard to concentrate and keep my train of thought.

  2. Signing the draft picks we want should not be a problem at all.We just had the 2011 payroll slashed about $30 million!! Considering all the early picks,and it being called a very strong draft,this year is a golden opportunity that no team has ever had in the drafts' history.This gives us the chance to help stock our system with top talent that will help us well into this decade.

  3. Anon,

    The payroll and the draft budget are not related to eachother at all. Just because they cut the payroll does not mean that they will use more money on the draft. However, they did say money is not an issue for the draft and I would expect them to spend around 10 million.

  4. Doug,

    Lots of kids at a library? That is actually a surprise for me. At least they are at the library......

  5. Michael, it's because no one has power except the library. It's sort of becoming a shelter, along with the Civic Center and other public places around the area. Real mess with no power and heat and temps headed to single digits. And add in 40 mph winds and blinding snow too. Biggest prob so far is no sump pumps, basement is flooded from all of the rain prior to the cold stuff.

    I'm gonna try to stay online as long as I can tonight just to avoid real life, and the wife and kids are safe and warm btw. I just don't want to spend the night at my mil's, who has power, sometimes freezing to death is the proper option. :) I'll be fine, hillbillies are hard to kill, and as long as the family is safe, no worries. I am worried about my elderly neighbors, will check on them tomorrow. Hope all of you are safe also.

  6. Its warm here in Tampa. WHere are you Doug?

  7. I think as long as Andrew makes a coherent case that the draft presents value/$s spent (which it does), Stu will foot the bill.

  8. I think as long as Andrew makes a coherent case that the draft presents value/$s spent (which it does), Stu will foot the bill.

  9. Michael,

    In NE Ohio, south of Akron/Cleveland, north of Canton, the HOF city.

  10. When do you plan on finishing the top 15 hitters section? It's like the series was placed on hold.

  11. It's coming, I promise! Hopefully on Monday, and then the top 15 pitchers will come. Apologies for how slow they've been posted!

  12. The Rays are going to have to spend some money, there's no other way around it or lose a lot of top prospects to colleges. You can only be so cheap.