There is no evidence to support the conclusion of the article. I think this is a great case study in how much the draft suppresses the compensation of players who earn way more money on the free market.
I think teams are and should be motivated to spend excess cash this off-season before the new CBA goes into affect. But that doesn’t mean Jorge Soler will get significantly more than 7 million because most teams just don’t have that kind of money laying around and if they do (Yankees) will another team force them to spend that much.
I think you are correct in a way since the supply is so limited on high ceiling international players every year. I wonder if North American players were free agents in the same manner whether signing bonuses would actually go down. After all a team only gets the chance to sign 1 or 2 top talents a year. If you had the option of negotiating with any of the top 20-40 players you can always move on to another player if your top choice wont come to terms. I think teams feel a lot of pressure to pay out the big dollars bc their draft is a failure if they dont sign their one pick.
If Concepcion is really only a 4-5 starter I dont think giving him a mlb contract and 7 mil up front is really “exploiting the market.” Also if that is his upside, 6 years of player control doesnt seem all that great since I would think most back end starters are probably close to if not over the threshold of being overpaid when it comes to their 2nd and 3rd years of Arb.
The draft is actually a way to give the poor team a chance to acquire impact talent. Imagine if all youngsters are FA, the Yanks and RedSox will not sign the normal FA but just flex their financial muscle to acquire all the Stephen Strasburg and Dylan Buddy and Bryce Harper.
I think you’re underrating his potential a bit- he at least has the potential to be a number three- only 19, has a 92-ish MPH fastaball, and potentially two plus breaking balls. Not exactly automatically limited to a 4-5…
Comment by ferrets_bueller — February 6, 2012 @ 1:54 pm
Agreed. That is wild… 19 yrs old & a pitcher… but now he has only 3 years to make the majors before going through waivers and uses a 40-man roster spot the whole time… the Cubs clearly think he can be more than a 4-5 starter.
Comment by Someanalyst — February 6, 2012 @ 2:00 pm
You lost me the moment you compared a drafted player’s contract with an IFA.
They are completely incomparable, for reasons you acknowledged in the article. IFAs and draft picks “cost” teams about the same in total value, but only if you consider the value of the draft pick itself as spent value. Spending $7 million on a kid is roughly the same as spending $1 million and a second-round pick on him.
Anyway, once I read the attempted faulty comparison, I mentally checked out, skipped the rest of the article, and came down to the comments section.
Comment by Kyle Mayhugh — February 6, 2012 @ 2:09 pm
Understand that opinion, though the scout I talked to called him nothing more than a #4 or #5. Kevin Goldstein also said he is nothing more than a back-end guy and wouldn’t even make his Top 100 Prospects.
I’m not sure if you are attempting to support my comment or not… but your hypothetical obviously illustrates how the draft suppresses earnings for players. Since players can only negotiate with one team and there is no bidding war among teams with greater resources, overall expense is reduced.