Why 2020 MLB Draft in June Could Be Cancelled Next

John Healy
March 19, 2020 - 9:34 am

With the start of the Major League Baseball season delayed and no certainty of when it will resume, the league faces many questions in the coming weeks.

Among them is what it will do with the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft, which is currently scheduled for June 10.

According to The Associated Press, MLB is considering skipping the draft altogether and delaying the next international signing period in an effort to save money.

With no games for the foreseeable future, it means there will be no revenue to generate for the league. Teams spend about $400 million combined on draft bonuses plus associated scouting costs each year, per the AP.

It is not like there is a pool of players to scout right now, either. Amateur leagues across the country have been shut down, just like MLB, due to the coronavirus pandemic and teams have halted their scouting operations.

MLB would also have to make a decision on how to handle 2020 draft-eligible prospects. Players in college could return for their senior season, while high school seniors could enroll in a junior college to become draft-eligible.

Or, MLB can implement a change for 2021 to allow 2020 draft-eligible prospects to enter the draft regardless of eligibility status, if the NCAA allows them.

The league would also face a problem of what to do with the draft order. The Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, Miami Marlins, Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays hold picks 1-5, in that order, and likely do not want to lose those picks.

As for the Houston Astros, who were stripped of their first- and second-round draft picks as punishment for their 2017 sign-stealing scheme, commissioner Rob Manfred stated in his report the penalties would be pushed back a year should something happen to the draft.

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