According to MLB’s informal “slot system” for paying draft picks, the Yankees were allowed to spend $1,734,30 to sign first-round pick Slade Heathcott, second-round pick J.R. Murphy and fifth-round selection Caleb Cotham.
They dropped $4,125,000.
The Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox and other clubs routinely ignore MLB’s policy, which is their right. There is talk that MLB will fine teams this season for going “over slot.” But those teams interested in winning will chalk it up as a cost of doing business.
It’s a ridiculous system that stunts the growth of prospects. The Yankees should have been allowed to give Heathcott his money and June and sent him to the Gulf Coast League. Instead they had to pretend there were negotiations and meanwhile the kid is playing video games all summer.
The NBA has a rookie salary system mandated by their CBA. You get picked here, you get paid this. Take it or leave it. Their players signs, they go to summer league and everybody is happy.
But in baseball, some of the best players fall into later rounds. The Yankees probably benefit because they can get better players. But a draft should be an equal playing field and in baseball, it’s just not.