Major League Baseball’s 2020 Draft will look much different this time around.
The MLB has decided to condense the draft from the usual 40 rounds to just five, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Kiley McDaniel. The limited selections will be conducted as owners look to save costs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, despite the objection of front-office officials, ESPN wrote.
Instead, organizations will be able to sign an unlimited number of undrafted players for $20,000 after the draft has concluded. The five-round virtual event is expected to begin June 10.
The changes come after an agreement in March between MLB and the MLB Players’ Association. The agreement allowed the league to reduce the draft from 40 rounds to as few as five. Teams will now be able to delay signing bonuses, with “a maximum of $100,000 to be paid within 30 days of a player signing, 50 percent of the remainder due July 1, 2021, and the leftover due July 1, 2022,” according to ESPN.
The league last shortened the draft in 2012, when it went from 50 rounds to 40.