It's finally here! The 2016 Major League Baseball draft begins on Thursday, June 9, and we're here to freshen you up on all the details you need to know before the Red Sox make their first pick. Unlike in 2015, when the Sox surrendered a pair of picks in the draft leaving them with just the one on day one, Boston has two selections to make during the first, second, and supplemental rounds of the draft this year.
They also have all the rest of their picks, 40 in all. There is no extra for losing a free agent, but since David Price didn't cost them a compensation pick, they also didn't give any up. And you can watch Boston -- as well the rest of the league -- make their selections tonight starting at 7 pm eastern, either on MLB Network or simulcast on MLB.com. If you're feeling like you don't want to hear any analysis, just follow along online, you can also follow MLB Draft Tracker on Twitter.
So, day one of the draft will feature rounds one and two, the supplemental rounds for compensation picks, and the Competitive Balance rounds. That's 77 picks in all, with the Sox picking at number 12 overall as well as 51st. Then, day two will feature rounds three through 10, and day three -- on a Saturday this year -- has the last 30 rounds in a much faster-paced format.
We've got a table for you to see when all those picks are happening for the Sox:
Who will the Sox take with their first pick? It's still a bit of an unknown. In fact, even though the draft is Thursday night, the final mock drafts from Baseball America, MLB, and Keith Law all feature different players ending up on the Sox. Baseball America says it will be high school outfielder Taylor Trammell. MLB has two different picks, with catcher Matt Thais and high school righty Ian Anderson their guesses. Law has college catcher Zack Collins, who everyone was tying to the Red Sox when the first waves of mocks were coming out, and from the sounds of it, if Collins is there at 12, he'll be drafted by Boston. The complication in the other mocks is that Collins doesn't make it to 12.
Regardless of who the Sox pick, there is an assigned dollar value for the 12th spot in the draft. MLB instituted a draft budget starting in 2012, and while teams can go over it, there are penalties for doing so. The suggestion for the 12th spot in the draft is $3,192,800, or roughly 46 percent of their total budget of $6,997,400. You can find the slot value of every pick in the first 10 rounds over at MLB.com.
There are a few important things to remember about the draft budget. For one, it only covers the first 10 rounds of the draft -- sort of. If a player drafted in rounds 11 through 40 receives a bonus in excess of $100,000, then the money over that $100,000 counts toward the budget. Nick Longhi is an example of a player the Sox signed who counted against the budget, as he was drafted in the 30th round in 2013 but signed for $440,000 -- this year, that would be a slot value that belongs in the fourth round.
Law's final mock has Red Sox landing Zack Collins
We've heard this one before: Zack Collins is the likely pick for the Red Sox at #12.
Another item to remember is that if the Red Sox fail to sign a player they draft in the first 10 rounds, they haven't freed up budget to sign elsewhere. That slot value is lost to them: that's why you'll likely see Boston pick a college senior or two in the first 10 rounds, one they can sign to a well below-slot bonus, and then they can redistribute the "extra" budget elsewhere. The Sox did this with Mitchell Gunsolus last year, drafting him in the 10th round and signing him to a $10,000 bonus. This year, the slot value for the 291st pick -- Gunsolus' spot last year -- is $159,800, so a similar setup this season with Boston's 10th-round pick, or maybe even an earlier one (or two), would yield similar "extra" cash.
The other way to create budget out of seemingly nowhere is by going over the allotted total. Not by a lot, mind you, as there are penalties for that, including the loss of future draft picks. However, a team can spend up to five percent over their budget and the penalty is only a tax on the overage itself. So, if the Sox don't mind paying that penalty, their budget is actually $7,347,270, $349,870 more than if they went to their budget allotment and no further.
That is not an insignificant boost: It's more than enough to push the bonus of Boston's third-round pick to over $1 million if they have someone in mind worth that kind of investment. It's about as much extra budget as the Sox would get to play with if they used their fifth-round pick to sign a college senior they could pay $10,000. It's money they could use in rounds 11 through 40 even if everyone in the first 10 rounds happens to go at slot value -- that's unlikely, but it's good to know there is money to be found even if this scenario were to happen.
We won't know exactly how the Sox will distribute their budget -- allotted or otherwise -- until these players have to sign later this summer. They have far more budget to work with than they did a summer ago, though, and that drafted created some intriguing players. Now we get to see what the Sox will do next, in their first draft with Dave Dombrowski around.