Seven months later, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington and amateur scouting director Amiel Sawdaye are on the verge of testing out the new parameters. With the 2012 First-Year Player's Draft on Monday, the Sox will operate on a budget.
Per the new regulations, if the Red Sox –– notorious big spenders –– exceed the boundaries they would be penalized by having to pay extra taxes or surrendering draft picks in future rounds.
But Cherington isn't fazed by the new restrictions.
"I don't see it as hampering us," the GM said. "It's just the challenge is a little bit different. But the fundamentals are the same. If we do a good enough job scouting the players, getting the players right, setting up the board, we're going to do well and we’re going to beat our competition. That's what we need to do."
Another noteworthy change to the CBA is the new signing deadline. In past years, draftees had until mid-August to decide whether to sign a contract with their organization or pursue other opportunities.
With the changes, the deadline was moved up a month. This year, players and teams have until 5 p.m. on July 13 to strike a deal, an alteration that Cherington expects to impact the draft process moving forward.
"There may be some high school players that will end up in college that may have signed in previous years," Cherington said. "I think the changes to the draft, from an industry standpoint, are generally more intended to create more of a meritocracy for the first player taken is the best player and on down from there… spread the talent out more."
Despite the slew of tweaks, Sawdaye said the organization's drafting philosophies ultimately remain the same. Like in past years, a successful draft is predicated on the evaluation skills of their area scouts.
"When you have strong area scouts that believe in certain players, it doesn't matter if that player is in the second round, the ninth round, the 16th, 17th round –– a Josh Reddick type player," Sawdaye said. "To me, it's about how strong your area guys are. We have a group that's been together for a while where we feel really confident that the players we're going to be talking about."
The return on investment will evolve over the next few years. Amid the changes in CBA, the Red Sox are ready to build toward the future.