There will be absolutely no signing drama following the shortest Draft ever. All 160 players selected agreed to contracts by last Friday, eight days in advance of the Aug. 1 deadline.
The 30 clubs combined to spend $238,092,829 on bonuses in a Draft abbreviated to five rounds. Under rule modifications agreed to by MLB and the MLB Players Associations, teams can pay no more than $100,000 up front to 2020 draftees, meaning they'll shell out no more than $15,433,500 on Draft bonuses this year. Half of the remainder is due to be paid in July 2021 and the other half in July 2022.
Clubs spent a record $316,560,984 on bonuses in 2019, when the Draft consisted of 40 rounds. For comparison's sake, teams paid out slightly more to 160 choices in five rounds in 2020 than the $237,345,700 they did to 167 selections in the first five rounds a year ago.
Arizona State corner infielder Spencer Torkelson, the No. 1 overall pick, broke the all-time Draft bonus record by signing with the Tigers for $8,416,300, surpassing the $8.1 million Adley Rutschman received from the Orioles a year ago. The Padres eclipsed the third-round bonus mark for the second straight year, giving Georgia right-hander Cole Wilcox $3.3 million a year after paying Hudson Head $3 million in 2019. East Tennessee State righty Landon Knack established what is believed to be a new standard for fifth-year seniors by signing with the Dodgers for $712,500 in the second round.
Eight teams topped $10 million in Draft bonus expenditures, led by Detroit at $13,978,600. Here’s the complete list of team-by-team spending:
Blue Jays: $10,202,325
White Sox: $7,757,500
Red Sox: $5,250,000