I’d have no idea how to get an accurate figure, but I’m sure that teams spend tens of millions of dollars developing players each year. It seems to me that I once saw an MLB financial breakdown somewhere that had a “player development expenses” column, and it gave me the impression that on average teams spend in the $20 million per year range to draft, sign and develop players. It is probably higher than that now.
The closest thing that I can find to a breakdown like that is
this report from MLB in 2001. The player development budget would have to be some portion of the “National and other local expenses” column, whch averaged $55 million per team. That would also include marketing, travel, equipment, coaches, front office salaries, stadium maintenence, ticket takers, etc, so it’s hard to say how much goes to what in there. But $20 million for player development would easily fit in that $55 million, I would think. When I estimate that in my head in todays terms, I’d guess that it might be closer to $30 million. That’s just a WAG, though.
It would be almost impossible to break it down to an individual player. I guess you could say that it’s $30 million per year spent, and the team takes in maybe 40 kids each season, so they spend on average of $750,000 per player they originally sign. But the money isn’t spread close to evenly throughout their development, so that’s not even close to fair (and again is just more wild guesses).