Among the many changes in Major League Baseball's current collective bargaining agreement, which went into effect last year, were changes to how compensation was given to amateur players selected in the Rule 4 Draft. Rather than MLB's soft slot recommendations of the past, teams risk financial penalization and the potential loss of draft picks for exceeding the current hard cap. Team draft pool budgets are assigned by draft position, the number of picks the team has, and how much money went unspent in the previous year's draft.
For the 2013 season, MLB has announced that the Mets have a total of $6.99 million to spend under the cap. This sum is the tenth-largest bonus pool, meaning that the Mets can spend more than two-thirds of their competition. The Houston Astros have the largest amount of money to spend at $11.6 million, while the Washington Nationals have the least at $2.7 million.
The Mets' first pick will be the eleventh overall in the draft. They will have a total of eleven picks in the first ten rounds,as they received an extra pick because they failed to sign Teddy Stankiewicz last year — perhaps intentionally in order to increase their pool this year. Here's what the Mets did last year, the first under MLB's current rules.
|Gavin Cecchini||12||$2.3 million|
|Kevin Plawecki||35||$1.4 million|
|Teddy Stankiewicz||75||Did Not Sign|
With a high spending cap, the Mets won't have to worry about their inability to sign a player because his asking price is high. They'll also have a lot more flexibility budgeting for later rounds of the draft. That means the Mets are less likely to see a player like Stankiewicz go unsigned, assuming the Mets want to sign that player.
The draft is too far away to gauge with any accuracy who the Mets might target. Sandy Alderson and the people working under him have demonstrated themselves to be adept at gauging amateur talent, though, and this year's draft class could move the Mets' farm system from middle-of-the-pack to the top tier.