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Tuesday, June 28, 2022


According to sources close to the event, only 70 percent of players who attended the 2022 MLB Draft Combine opted to take Major League Baseball’s pre-draft physical. Those who didn’t take the physical have currently voided their guarantee of receiving 75 percent of their future draft slot bonus. 255 players attended the event. Roughly 180 of those players took the physical.

A new piece of the collective bargaining agreement executed this winter guaranteed amateur players 75 percent of their slot bonus in the MLB Draft. Only players designated as “Top 300” prospects were eligible for that guarantee, so long as they took Major League Baseball’s pre-draft physical. The clause was added to the new CBA to help protect amateur players from being used as pawns for teams to either save money or procure future draft picks awarded to them after failing to sign their draft picks. Some have referred to this new clause as the “Kumar Rocker Rule”, though Rocker never submitted a pre-draft physical in 2021. The New York Mets eventually drafted him in the first round and failed to sign him after he “failed” his physical.

As things currently stand, more than 100 players designated as “Top 300” players in the 2022 MLB Draft will still be able to negotiate deals with teams under that 75 percent guarantee. According to sources, most of the players who elected to forego the physical were older players who lack leverage to return to school and improve their draft stock for 2023.

There isn’t a long history of “top” players receiving less than 75 percent of their slot bonus. In fact, in some cases, players made more money than they likely would have had they been required to take 75 percent of their slot bonus.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 28, 2022 at 04:05 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: draft

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: June 28, 2022 at 06:43 PM (#6084350)
I'm confused -- what is the rule? Take the physical, you end up getting drafted 45th and ??? If you don't come to an agreement, you still get 75%? You are guaranteed at least 75% of the slot if not signed but can negotiate for more but get nothing if you don't sign? Or the player has agreed to take 75% of the bonus and is screwed? I mean "In fact, in some cases, players made more money than they likely would have had they been required to take 75 percent of their slot bonus" ... what does "required to take" mean?
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: June 28, 2022 at 07:16 PM (#6084358)
Even reading the full article, it's still somewhat confusing. The part about some players made more money, is pointing out that often times these players are drafted above their predicted position(they give an example of a guy who was the 49th best prospect, but went 7th overall, making much more than he would have made if he was drafted in the 2nd round, but the Royals drafted him earlier to save money for a different pick.

Basically it feels like the point is to reduce teams drafting players earlier than they are willing to spend on them, at the same time, the players who don't have leverage, are refusing the physical so that they might actually go higher than they are rated and not force the team to match the 75%, but still get a bigger payday than they would have if they were drafted where they should have gone.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: June 29, 2022 at 09:29 PM (#6084652)
Then what's the incentive to take the physical?

So I think I'm the 45th best player and the 45th pick has a slot value of $X ... so if I'm the 45th best player, my draft bonus value to a team is, give or take, $X.

But I think I might get drafted earlier so a team can save some money on that slot for use elsewhere. OK, I take the physical and agree to 75% of slot. Now, no team will draft me in a slot where 75% is way over $X ... or will do so only if I was the only one silly enough to take the physica. So I haven't really increased my bonus. And if none of this happens and I get drafted 45th ... I now have to accept 75% of $X, costing myself 25%?
   4. Eddie Gaedel Posted: June 30, 2022 at 10:28 AM (#6084738)
I believe the incentive for amateurs to take the physical is to prevent them being drafted in the first few rounds, but fail a team physical prior to signing a contract. In this case in previous years, amateurs had the choice of taking whatever low amount the team offered OR pay for surgery/rehab on their own and sit out a year playing indy ball until the next draft and hope to be drafted in the first few rounds again which would (theoretically) delay their free agency by a year (since we know all top-round draft picks expect to make the majors and be stars).

Under the new rules, teams will have physicals prior to drafting the players, make the decision better-informed. Players will need to submit to a physical prior to signing, so they aren't assuming all risk, but it also prevents them from getting "low-balled" due to lack of negotiating leverage post-draft.

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