The 2014 MLB amateur entry draft begins on June 5. While the Red Sox are not selecting in the top-10 like they did one summer ago, they do have multiple first-round selections and the budget that comes with them, meaning they are still in a better position than much of the league to add talent to their farm system.
The Red Sox will make their first selection at no. 26 overall. Even though they had the AL's best record and won the World Series, they won't draft last in the first round, as the Cardinals finished with a better regular season record. They also are picking at 26 instead of 29 thanks to the Yankees, Rangers, Orioles, and Braves, who all forfeited their first-round picks in order to sign free agents with qualifying offer compensation attached to them. Lastly, it's 26 instead of 25, which moving up four spots would normally entail, because the Blue Jays have an extra first-round selection thanks to their failure to sign last year's first rounder, Phil Bickford, to a deal.
2014 MLB Draft: Sox have 16th-largest draft budget
The Sox pick second-to-last in the first round, but extra selections bumped their draft budget up considerably.
The Red Sox also have another first-round selection in the compensation round for losing Jacoby Ellsbury to the Yankees, at no. 33. Were free agent Stephen Drew to sign a contract with a team prior to the draft, the Sox would get another compensation pick and additional draft budget. That seems unlikely, though, considering whomever ends up signing Drew has already waited this long in order to hang on to their own pick.
For the first 10 rounds (and 11 picks), the Red Sox have a budget of $6,373,300, the 16th-highest in the draft. They can outspend that by five percent, however, without incurring any penalty besides a 75 percent tax on the dollars past their initial budget, meaning their actual spending threshold is $6,691,965 -- a few extra hundred thousand dollars could end up being the difference between a selection walking away from a deal or signing, so every little bit helps.They won't go over that additional five percent boundary to sign someone, though, as past that, the loss of future draft picks becomes part of the punishment.
As of today, this is the draft order for the Red Sox for the first 10 rounds:
That will go on for 30 more rounds, with the 11th pick coming in at 335, 12th at 365, and so on. The Red Sox are not limited by their budget for rounds 11 through 40 unless the bonus for those players exceeds $100,000 -- if that happens, every dollar over $100,000 goes against the budget. The Sox could very well draft some players who are a long shot to sign in these later rounds, players who will require bonuses of more than $100,000. If they fail to sign them, though, then their absence won't cut into the draft budget as it would have were they selected within the first 10 rounds.
There are workarounds for just about everything, and the Red Sox have already utilized a few of them in the first two years of the draft-budget era. Expect more of the same this time around, especially now that they're back in the later end of the first round.