Note: I’ve corrected some figures that were initially listed wrongly.
Jim Callis of Baseball America reports that the 2011 draft class received a grand total of $228 million in signing bonuses, with their total guaranteed money rising to $236 million once major-league contracts are factored in.
That represents a 16 percent increase over last season, when the 2010 draft class combined for a then-record $196 million in signing bonuses and $202 million in total guaranteed money.
In other words, MLB’s attempt to suppress bonuses by bullying teams into following their “slot” recommendations hasn’t exactly gone as planned. Teams spent $132 million for players signed on the August 15 deadline day alone.
And while $228 million for a bunch of high school and college players sounds like an insane amount of money–and it certainly is, on a player-by-player basis–collectively the draft class will ultimately provide far more value than that to teams during their cost-controlled, pre-free agency seasons. And it would have been $231 million had Tyler Beede not turned down the Blue Jays for Vanderbilt.