MLB teams spent $208 million signing draft picks this year

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Jim Callis of Baseball America crunched the (preliminary) numbers and reports that MLB teams combined to spend approximately $208 million signing draft picks this year.

That’s obviously an incredible amount of money, but Callis notes that teams spent around $236 million on draft picks last year.

Part of the decrease comes from this year’s draft class being much weaker in terms of elite-level talent, but the changes in the collective bargaining agreement that provide much stricter spending limits was clearly also a driving force behind the $28 million decrease.

Interestingly, according to Callis the top seven picks cost $18 million less to sign this year than last year–eighth overall pick Mark Appel was the only first-rounder not to sign–and the rest of the 39-plus rounds worth of players cost $10 million less to sign this year than last year. So mostly the signing bonus limits cut way back on how much the elite players received and also trimmed a bit from the lesser players as well.