The 2016 MLB Draft begins tonight, with the first 77 picks. The rest of the first ten rounds will take place on Friday, followed by round 11 through 40 on Saturday. Those first ten rounds are especially important because they are the ones covered by the draft pool/budget that was established prior to the 2012 draft. Every pick through the end of round 10 has a slot value, and the combined value of each team's picks through that point in the draft add up to the team's draft pool.
Teams are allowed to go over that budget, but they pay a 75% tax on every dollar they go over. In the four years this system has been in place, most teams have gone over their budget at least once, but no team has exceeded their assigned budget by more than 5%, because going over by that much would not only trigger the tax, it would also require the team to forfeit its first-round pick in the following year's draft. I doubt we'll see any team exceed the 5% threshold, and I'm certain we won't see the Indians do it.
Teams with higher picks have a higher total draft pool because the picks early in each round have higher slot value than later picks. The Phillies hold the first overall pick, and that spot alone has a slot value of $9,015,000, which is higher than the total slot pool of twenty different teams, including the Indians, whose assigned budget for their picks through the end of round 10 is $7,499,600, which ranks 16th among the 30 teams.
Here is the specific value for each of the Indians' picks:
- First round (14): $2,973,700
- Second round (55): $1,159,200
- Supplemental (72): $892,200
- Third round (92): $655,500
- Fourth round (122): $482,500
- Fifth round (152): $361,300
- Sixth round (182): $270,300
- Seventh round (212): $202,900
- Eighth round (242): $178,700
- Ninth round (272): $166,700
- Tenth round (302): $156,600
It must be noted that while each pick has a specific value, the budget and penalties are tied to the combined value of the picks who are signed (and any draft pick who is not assigned has the value of their slow subtracted from the team's budget). What this means is that teams can go over quite a bit on a couple of their picks, if they manage to sign some of their other picks to an under-slot deal. Players drafted in round eight, nine, and ten are often drafted because they've agreed in advance to sign for very little money, freeing up room in the budget to go over-slot on players drafted in earlier rounds, oftentimes in order to convince a talented high school player to forgo playing college ball instead of signing.