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2008 Amateur Spending - Draft and International


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#1 philly sox fan


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Posted 05 November 2008 - 10:59 PM

Over the last few years Iíve been interested in trying to integrate international data into the kinds of draft studies that Iíve previously done. The most recent reports that Iíve seen show MLB to be made up of roughly 30% foreign players, so international players make up a sizable portion of the player development pipeline. However, without a central draft providing structure it is difficult to systematically study how these players come into pro ball.

The last couple of years, though, Baseball America has really expanded its coverage of the summer international signing period. This year Ben Badler has done an excellent job of not just tracking the most expensive, hyped prospects, but also tracking down every six figure bonus signing. With that data we can track team by team international spending in the same way weíve been doing that for draft spending for years. And even better, we can combine the two to get the first snapshot of total amateur spending in a given year.

Letís look at team by team international spending first. These figures were published by Badler in BA a couple weeks ago. They include only players who received six figure bonuses and who were signed from January to mid-September. There are several hundred more players who were signed for four and five figure bonuses. Weíre going to assume that from a budget standpoint that these players wouldnít really affect the rankings very much even though itís quite likely that one or two of those ultra cheap signings will turn into the next Hanley Ramirez. Teams will also continue to sign older, less hyped players the rest of the year. As a result, this is not the definitive 2008 international signing bonus total, but it is pretty close. And it is orders of magnitude more complete than what has ever been published before.

Table
Intl Intl
Team Rank Bonus $
Cinn 1 5,705,000
Sea 7 2,591,000
NYY 4 4,250,000
SD 3 4,685,000
Oak 2 4,880,000
StL 6 2,685,000
Atl 8 2,230,000
SF 5 2,750,000
Cle 9 2,025,000
Tex 10 1,625,000
Det 14 783,000
Ana 19 440,000
Tor 15 700,000
Hou 13 1,015,000
Col 18 580,000
Bos 11 1,382,500
Pitt 12 1,200,000
NYM 17 600,000
Chi-AL 22 300,000
TB 16 640,000
Phl 21 353,000
Chi-NL 23 250,000
AZ 24 160,000
KC 20 410,000
Mil t25 0
Minn t25 0
Bal t25 0
Fla t25 0
Wash t25 0
LA t25 0
Total 42,239,500
Ave 1,407,983


The total cost of these players has been just over 42M or an average of 1.4M per team. However, that average is quite misleading as there is a lot of team to team variability. On the low end six teams completely opted out of signing any players to six figure bonuses. On the high end, any team that signs a single player for a seven figure bonus is going to end up well over that average.

The Reds, Aís, Padres and Yankees were the big international spenders this year. The Reds signed two players for 2M bonuses. The Aís shattered the Latin American bonus record by giving Michel Inoa 4.25M. Both of those teams are new players in the high end international market. The Padres have quietly ramped up their spending the last few years, but they made their first big splash this year with a couple seven figure signings and a few more mid-six figure ones. The Yankees are a traditional player in the international market. This year they ended up spreading their money around to several six figure bonus players.

The next tier of teams, in the 2-3M range, include a couple traditional big spenders internationally Ė the Mariners whoíve been excellent recently under Bob Engle and the Braves who actually were much more productive in the late 80s and 90s. The Giants, Cardinals and Indians are more examples of teams recently ramping up their international spending.

The Sox were in the third tier of teams with the Rangers, Pirates and Astros. The Rangers have had a strong international presence the last few years (and a great run in the 80s signing Ivan Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa and Juan Gonzalez in 1985-1988). The Pirates and Astros are both teams trying to revitalize lousy farm systems under new GMs. Just in terms of money spent, the Sox average international commitment this past year has to be considered a bit disappointing.

After the Sox group of teams, the total bonus money spent drops off dramatically. Many of these teams only signed one or two players to low six figure bonuses.

Now letís look at draft spending. These figures are also from BA. They were posted by Jim Callis in a recent AskBA. These are complete spending totals, which is again something that you donít see often. In previous years BA has reported team spending totals that were based on just players in the first ten rounds and some notable later round signings. Itís interesting to note the difference between those bonus figures which are reported in the BA Draft Database and this complete list.

I incorporate the Draft Database figures into my draft spreadsheets. Those bonuses for 368 signed players totaled just over 175M. The total reported here, for presumably all 968 players who signed, is just over 186M. That means the last 600 players who signed, received an average bonus of about 18k. Thatís a whole lot of 18 and 21 yr olds signing for not much more than the chance to pursue their baseball dream.

In comparison, the top 100 signing bonuses totaled over 125M or an average of 1.25M per player. As in most things, the vast majority of the money goes to the small number of elite players.

Here are the draft data next to the international data. Iíll post the combined data in a bit.

Table
Intl Intl Draft Draft
Team Rank Bonus $ Rank Bonus $
KC 20 410,000 1 11,148,000
Bos 11 1,382,500 2 10,515,000
TB 16 640,000 3 9,921,000
Pitt 12 1,200,000 4 9,780,500
SF 5 2,750,000 5 9,080,000
Mil t25 0 6 8,395,800
Tex 10 1,625,000 7 7,388,300
Minn t25 0 8 7,330,498
Cle 9 2,025,000 9 6,984,500
Bal t25 0 10 6,916,500
Phl 21 353,000 11 6,740,500
Hou 13 1,015,000 12 6,544,500
Oak 2 4,880,000 13 6,522,000
NYM 17 600,000 14 6,460,000
Chi-NL 23 250,000 15 5,545,000
StL 6 2,685,000 16 5,542,000
SD 3 4,685,000 17 5,449,000
Fla t25 0 18 5,377,000
NYY 4 4,250,000 19 5,122,000
Atl 8 2,230,000 20 5,091,500
Cinn 1 5,705,000 21 4,801,000
Wash t25 0 22 4,761,500
Chi-AL 22 300,000 23 4,663,500
AZ 24 160,000 24 4,493,500
LA t25 0 25 4,442,500
Tor 15 700,000 26 4,359,500
Col 18 580,000 27 4,157,000
Det 14 783,000 28 3,742,000
Ana 19 440,000 29 2,728,500
Sea 7 2,591,000 30 2,545,000
Total 42,239,500 186,547,598
Ave 1,407,983 6,218,253


The Royals and Sox were the first teams to ever spend more than 10M on a single draft class. The Sox are the only successful large revenue team at the top of the rankings. Thatís the way things usually work out as the teams at the very top of the draft who sign a single premium player to a large bonus are hard to top. In fact, the other four teams in the top 5 all signed one player to a 6M bonus. The Sox highest bonus player was Casey Kelly at 3M. If you exclude the highest bonus player, the other four teams spent 3-5M on the rest of their drafts. The Sox spent 7.5M, a total which would have ranked 7th overall. In comparison to the other top spending teams the Sox really spread their money around.

Milwaukee and Minnesota didnít sign any six figure international players, but offset those meager efforts with high draft spending due to extra compensation picks. And I donít think that that kind of shifting money around from the draft to international to opening day payroll to the ability to take on salary at the trade deadline is all that uncommon.

Itís also something that the Sox clearly do not have to do. If need be they can have an opening day payroll as high or higher than anybody but the Yankees. And still have room to outspend everybody in amateur spending. And pay a 7M headache player go away. And pick up Paul Byrd for a couple million as late season pitching depth. And toss another million at Mark Kotsay. Through their revenue generating acumen and their success developing cheap and productive cost controlled players, the Sox are in a position where they never have to cut corners. They can use their financial power in any way that brings more talent into the organization.

The other big market, big revenue teams that should be competing with the Sox in the amateur markets all came up pretty small in the 2008 draft. The Mets, Cubs, Yankees, White Sox, Dodgers and Angels ranked 14, 15, 19, 23, 25 and 29th. Those teams spent an average of 4.8M, nearly 6M less than the Sox spent. The Angels showing is particularly weak because as weíll see later they were quite low in 2007 as well. If and when Seattle, currently ranked last, signs their #1 pick Josh Fields, the Angles will drop to last more than 1M below the next lowest team.

Now letís look at the combined international and draft amateur spending for 2008.

Table
[td=*] [/td][td=*]228,787,098 [/td][td=*]Ave [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*]1,407,983 [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*]6,218,253 [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*]7,626,237 [/td]
Intl Intl Draft Draft Amatuer Total
Team Rank Bonus $ Rank Bonus $ Rank Bonus $
Bos 11 1,382,500 2 10,515,000 1 11,897,500
SF 5 2,750,000 5 9,080,000 2 11,830,000
Oak 2 4,880,000 13 6,522,000 3 11,402,000
KC 20 410,000 1 11,148,000 4 11,558,000
Pitt 12 1,200,000 4 9,780,500 5 10,980,500
TB 16 640,000 3 9,921,000 6 10,561,000
Cinn 1 5,705,000 21 4,801,000 7 10,506,000
SD 3 4,685,000 17 5,449,000 8 10,134,000
NYY 4 4,250,000 19 5,122,000 9 9,372,000
Tex 10 1,625,000 7 7,388,300 10 9,013,300
Cle 9 2,025,000 9 6,984,500 11 9,009,500
Mil t25 0 6 8,395,800 12 8,395,800
StL 6 2,685,000 16 5,542,000 13 8,227,000
Hou 13 1,015,000 12 6,544,500 14 7,559,500
Minn t25 0 8 7,330,498 15 7,330,498
Atl 8 2,230,000 20 5,091,500 16 7,321,500
Phl 21 353,000 11 6,740,500 17 7,093,500
NYM 17 600,000 14 6,460,000 18 7,060,000
Bal t25 0 10 6,916,500 19 6,916,500
Chi-NL 23 250,000 15 5,545,000 20 5,795,000
Fla t25 0 18 5,377,000 21 5,377,000
Sea 7 2,591,000 30 2,545,000 22 5,136,000
Chi-AL 22 300,000 23 4,663,500 23 4,963,500
Col 18 580,000 27 4,157,000 24 4,737,000
Tor 15 700,000 26 4,359,500 25 5,059,500
AZ 24 160,000 24 4,493,500 26 4,653,500
Det 14 783,000 28 3,742,000 27 4,525,000
Wash t25 0 22 4,761,500 28 4,761,500
LA t25 0 25 4,442,500 29 4,442,500
Ana 19 440,000 29 2,728,500 30 3,168,500
Total 42,239,500 186,547,598


Sure the Phillies may have won the WS and had a parade, but the Sox are #1 where it counts for some time way down the roadÖ

Obviously this kind of commitment to amateur talent in a very successful year at the major league level is a really good thing and does speak to their chances to keep their current run going. And again, note that most of the other big revenue teams are well down the list. Additionally, the other seven playoff teams rank 6, 12, 17, 20, 23, 29 and 30. The 6th ranking for Tampa is a fluke because itís so rare for a team to have the #1 pick and make the playoffs. Actually, that might be more than rare, that might be unprecedented. Both Los Angeles teams came up really small. And both teams have seen their once highly ranked farm systems sputter a bit due to graduations (a good reason) and some disappointments and at least lately their commitment to spend money to restock their systems has been lacking.

As an industry MLB paid about 230M to acquire amateur talent in 2008. Is that a lot, a little? Itís hard to put into context since you rarely (if ever) see reports about total amateur spending for a sport. I believe 2007 revenues were about 6.6B. The 2008 amateur spend was about 3.5% of those revenues. Again, is that a lot or a little? If we were to say this is analogous to an industryís R&D budget, then Iíd say it was pretty small.

Another way to look at it Ė and a way that the MLBPA surely does whenever talk of the draft being part of CBAs comes up Ė is in comparison to major league salaries. It looks like 2008 MLB salaries will be around 2.7B. Thatís roughly 41% of revenues, which as Iíve mentioned before is way below where it used to be and far behind other sports leagues. The MLB players who produced wins today received about 12 times the compensation of the amateur players who will produce discounted future wins. Again, is that a good balance? Are amateur players getting squeezed? Iíd say that they probably are by a fair amount, but I certainly canít prove that. Iíd love to know what other sports leagues spend on their pro talent and amateur talent as a percentage of revenues to see how MLB compares. Does anybody know that?


Iíve also always been curious about the ratio of international spending to draft spending both for the industry as a whole and for individual teams. Letís use this data to get a one year snapshot of that ratio.

Table
[td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*]Intl [/td][td=*]Draft [/td][td=*]Rank [/td][td=*]Team [/td][td=*]%Intl [/td][td=*]%Draft [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]Rank[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]Rank[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Cinn[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]54.3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]45.7[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]21[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Sea[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]50.4[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]49.6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]7[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]30[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]SD[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]46.2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]53.8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]17[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]4[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]NYY[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]45.3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]54.7[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]4[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]19[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Oak[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]42.8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]57.2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]13[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]StL[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]32.6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]67.4[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]16[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]7[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Atl[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]30.5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]69.5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]20[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]SF[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]23.2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]76.8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Cle[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]22.5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]77.5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]10[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Tex[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]18.0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]82.0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]10[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]7[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]11[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Det[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]17.3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]82.7[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]14[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]28[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]12[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Ana[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]13.9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]86.1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]19[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]29[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]13[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Tor[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]13.8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]86.2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]15[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]26[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]14[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Hou[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]13.4[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]86.6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]13[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]12[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]15[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Col[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]12.2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]87.8[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]18[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]27[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]16[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#FF0000"]Bos[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]11.6[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]88.4[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]11[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]2[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]17[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Pitt[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]10.9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]89.1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]12[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]4[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]18[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]NYM[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]8.5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]91.5[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]17[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]14[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]19[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]TB[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]6.1[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]93.9[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]16[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]3[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]20[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chi-AL[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]6.0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]94.0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]22[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]23[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]21[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Phl[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]5.0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]95.0[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#008000"]21[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#0000FF"]11[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]22[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chi-NL[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]4.3[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]95.7[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]23[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]15[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]23[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]KC[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]3.5[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]96.5[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]20[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]1[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]24[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]AZ[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]3.4[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]96.6[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]24[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]24[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]t25[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Mil[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]0.0[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]100.0[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]t25[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]6[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]t25[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Minn[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]0.0[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]100.0[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]t25[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]8[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]t25[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Bal[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]0.0[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]100.0[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]t25[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]10[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]t25[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Fla[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]0.0[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]100.0[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]t25[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]18[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]t25[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Wash[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]0.0[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]100.0[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]t25[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]22[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]t25[/color] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]LA[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]0.0[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]100.0[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]t25[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]25[/color][/b] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]Total[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]18.5[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]81.5[/color][/b] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]42.2M[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]186.5M[/color][/b] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td]


The overall ratio of draft to international spending was 4:1 last year. Itís a little higher than that, but weíll round down figuring that all of the under 100k international players will bump up that total a bit. This year there were several new organizations aggressively active internationally and a record number of players received seven figure bonuses. That led some to conclude that the international market was over bought in something of a speculative bubble. Generally speaking, that does not appear to be true. As I mentioned earlier, the ratio of American born to foreign born players (and any kind of production measure you would want to use as well) in the majors is roughly 70:30. Some of that 30% foreign born figure is made up of Japanese professional players, but if we exclude them the ratio is still probably at least 75:25. I donít think there is any reason, right now, to believe that the amateur class of 2008 will deviate too much from that ratio. So our best guess is that as an industry MLB spent 20% of its 2008 amateur talent procurement budget on international players who will produce 25% of the future wins from this year. Not only was the international market this year not a speculative bubble, it was still under priced.

I donít think thatís quite the whole story though. The international market has traditionally differed from the draft market in that many more very cheaply signed players become stars. That may shrink as teams get better evaluating and developing these very young players, but the inherent risks of evaluating physically immature 16 year olds are so great that it will probably always be true to some extent. The cheaply signed players who become stars will drive the future productivity and make the international players as a whole seem underpriced, but that does not mean that the pricing of individual players is very efficient. For example, Inoa received 10% of the total money spent on international players. If he blows out his arm tomorrow, but some other player who signed for 20k becomes Hanley Ramirez, then the combined money spent on the two players was, in retrospect, a bargain. However, the ďmarketĒ did a horrible job differentiating between the two players, so itís hard to say that individual evaluations are efficient even though the market as whole is underpriced.

It should also be noted that a couple high priced signings will skew a one year ratio for individual teams. To really get a sense of how teams allocate their amateur talent acquisition budget, we would need to do this over a several year period. Nevertheless, the Reds really stand out in 2008. Their pair of 2M international signings means that they spent more internationally than in the domestic draft. Thatís an extremely risky formula.

The Mariners barely cracked the 50% barrier, but that will change if and when they sign Fields. I assume they will and their ratio will drop towards 40:60. Thatís still a high risk ratio, but one that they may be comfortable with given their strong track record under Engle.

The Yankees, Padres and Aís were also in that range. I would almost guarantee the Aís wonít sign another 16 yr old for 4M next year so their ratio is very likely a one year blip. The Yankees ratio stems from their normal high international spending combined with a relatively low draft budget due to the failure to sign a couple high picks.

Sox and anything else?

BA actually published the 2008 team draft totals alongside that data from 2007, so letís finish up by looking at two year draft totals.

Table
[td=*] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]2007[/color][/b] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]2008[/color][/b] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]Total[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]Team[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]Rank[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]Bonus $[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]Rank[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]Bonus $[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]Rank[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]Bonus $[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]TB[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]2[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]8,023,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]3[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]9,921,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]1[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]17,944,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]KC[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]7[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]6,636,900[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]1[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]11,148,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]2[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]17,784,900[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]SF[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]6[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]7,424,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]5[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]9,080,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]3[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]16,504,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]Bos[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]15[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]4,843,750[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]2[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]10,515,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]4[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]15,358,750[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Bal[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]3[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]7,981,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]10[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]6,916,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]5[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]14,897,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Pitt[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]18[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]4,451,900[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]4[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]9,780,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]6[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]14,232,400[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Tex[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]8[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]6,631,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]7[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]7,388,300[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]7[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]14,019,300[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]NYY[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]1[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]8,035,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]19[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]5,122,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]8[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]13,157,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Mil[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]19[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]4,254,700[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]6[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]8,395,800[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]9[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]12,650,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Wash[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]5[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]7,882,300[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]22[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]4,761,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]10[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]12,643,800[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Det[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]4[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]7,952,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]28[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]3,742,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]11[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]11,694,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chi-NL[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]10[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]6,096,250[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]15[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]5,545,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]12[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]11,641,250[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]SD[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]11[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]5,897,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]17[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]5,449,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]13[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]11,346,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Phl[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]20[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]4,215,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]11[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]6,740,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]14[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]10,955,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Tor[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]9[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]6,584,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]26[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]4,359,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]15[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]10,943,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Oak[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]21[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]4,159,400[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]13[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]6,522,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]16[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]10,681,400[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Cle[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]25[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]3,645,300[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]9[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]6,984,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]17[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]10,629,800[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]NYM[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]22[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]3,821,300[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]14[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]6,460,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]18[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]10,281,300[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]StL[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]16[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]4,641,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]16[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]5,542,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]19[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]10,183,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Atl[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]14[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]4,858,250[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]20[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]5,091,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]20[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]9,949,750[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Cinn[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]13[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]4,894,250[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]21[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]4,801,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]21[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]9,695,250[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]AZ[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]12[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]5,110,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]24[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]4,493,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]22[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]9,603,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Minn[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]28[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]2,165,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]8[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]7,330,498[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]23[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]9,495,998[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Fla[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]23[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]3,675,750[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]18[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]5,377,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]24[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]9,052,750[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Hou[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]30[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]1,584,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]12[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]6,544,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]25[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]8,128,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]LA[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]26[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]3,626,250[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]25[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]4,442,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]26[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]8,068,750[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Col[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]24[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]3,669,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]27[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]4,157,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]27[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]7,826,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Chi-AL[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]27[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]2,768,850[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]23[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]4,663,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]28[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]7,432,350[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Sea[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]17[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]4,542,300[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]30[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]2,545,000[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]29[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]7,087,300[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][color="#000000"]Ana[/color] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]29[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#008000"]1,759,600[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]29[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#0000FF"]2,728,500[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]30[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#FF0000"]4,488,100[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]Total[/color][/b] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]151,830,550[/color][/b] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]186,547,598[/color][/b] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]338,378,148[/color][/b] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]Ave[/color][/b] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]5,061,018[/color][/b] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]6,218,253[/color][/b] [/td][td=*] [/td][td=*][b][color="#000000"]11,279,272[/color][/b] [/td]


The first thing to note is the massive increase in overall spending from 2007 to 2008. MLB as an industry increased draft budgets by 35M, a one year increase of over 20%. I donít recall any industry wide consensus that the 2008 draft class was any better than the 2007 class. So that increase is mostly attributable to significant revenue increases in the game (ie anticipated increases in the cost of FA wins leading to increased investment in discounted potential wins to be developed on the farm) and to the slight loosening of draft slotting by MLB. In 2007, MLB decreased draft slots by 10% in comparison to 2006. Many players ended up signing for 2006 slot money and ďbeatingĒ the slotting system by 10%. But given the increasing revenues in the game as a whole, just keeping the 2007 draft spending relatively close to 2006 levels represented a major win for owners. However, enough teams did not heed the slotting system in 2007 that as a result there were rumblings that the whole ďvoluntaryĒ system would come crashing down amidst across the board disregard of recommended bonuses. MLB responded to that by easing their enforcement of the system and as a result an extra 35M flowed down to the 2008 draft class. MORE

The slightly below average 2007 draft budget knocks the Sox down a couple places, but they rank 4th in overall 2007-2008 draft spending. The teams above and below the Sox tend to be bad small revenue teams with high draft positions both years. The Yankees ranked 8th overall with their big 2007 budget partially offsetting their small 2008 budget.

Again, the Sox are way out in front in comparison to the other big revenue teams. The Cubs (12th), Mets (18th), Dodgers (26th), White Sox (28th) and Angels (30th) are all failing to use their financial clout in the long term amateur market. The Angels in particular have been pathetic. In 2007, they barely outspent the Astros who were rightly killed for a completely pathetic draft effort. The Astros cleaned house in their scouting department and bumped up their draft spending by 5M. The Angels did increase spending by 1M, but given their ridiculously low 2007 baseline and the overall increase in spending and that still left them at 29th in spending (and that will be 30th if Seattle signs Fields). The Angels have obviously done a lot of things right since Artie Moreno took over, but falling way below average in amateur spending will eventually come back to bite them. They should have another year or two on top of the mostly rebuilding AL West, but theyíre just getting older while the talented minor league systems of the Rangers and Athletics keep getting closer to the majors. The Angels really need to sign marquee free agents like Mark Teixeira and hope those very long contracts work out.

As long as the Sox keep spending this kind of money on amateur talent and do a reasonable job of evaluating and developing it, they won't be in the position of having to sign players like that.

#2 mabrowndog


  • Ask me about total zone...or paint


  • 38,452 posts

Posted 07 November 2008 - 09:00 PM

This is great stuff, Philly. Especially interesting since BA just released their Top 10 Red Sox prospects, and three pre-2008 Dominican signees round out the 8-9-10 slots.

They were signed in consecutive years: #9 Yamaico Navarro in 2005, #10 Stolmy Pimentel in 2006, and #8 Michael Almanzar in 2007.

But their bonuses couldn't be more disparate:

* Navarro $20,000
* Pimentel $25,000
* Almanzar $1,500,000

Almanzar's bonus was a record for a Latin American amateur. Has Badler made these figures available for previous years? If so, any idea what the Sox' international total was in 2007 and where it ranked? For proper perspective, I'd be more interested in seeing where their capital layouts on non-Japanese talent stood.

The fact that international players remain so undervalued despite the extensive investment and competition in Latin America is a bit surprising, though I'd suspect the economics of that region play a large role.

Edited by mabrowndog, 08 November 2008 - 09:15 AM.


#3 Quintanariffic

  • 4,418 posts

Posted 08 November 2008 - 01:56 AM

Almanzar's bonus was a record for a Latin American amateur. Has Balder made these figures available for previous years? If so, any idea what the Sox' international total was in 2007 and where it ranked? For proper perspective, I'd be more interested in seeing where their capital layouts on non-Japanese talent stood.

The fact that international players remain so undervalued despite the extensive investment and competition in Latin America is a bit surprising, though I'd suspect the economics of that region play a large role.

Sox Prospects is Pretty Good

#4 philly sox fan


  • SoSH Member


  • 9,748 posts

Posted 08 November 2008 - 08:30 AM

Almanzar's bonus was a record for a Latin American amateur. Has Balder made these figures available for previous years? If so, any idea what the Sox' international total was in 2007 and where it ranked? For proper perspective, I'd be more interested in seeing where their capital layouts on non-Japanese talent stood.


This is the first year that BA (or anybody else) tried to publish fairly complete data. I think Badler mentioned that he had just under 100 players signed to 6 figure bonuses.

The last couple of years I've been tracking bonuses as they get reported (mostly by BA). I have just over 70 for 2007, which isn't bad and probably includes all of the big bonus players. Those players add up to 25M and as you can see from the Quint's link to the Sox prospects page the Sox were up over 2M in known bonuses. I figure if the per team average was about 1.4M after some inflation, then it makes sense the 2007 average was a little over 1M? So simply signing Almanzar would have driven their total way over average. Most playes sign for so little that any single premium bonus guy will drive team spending well above average for that year.

In 2006 the Sox were over 1M with just Engel and Beltre so that year would have been above average as well. The few years prior to that the Sox were very active in high bonus players.

I try to collect bits and pieces of overall bonus data when I find it for context. A couple months ago espn.com had an article or two on the bonus skimming scandal and reported these bonus data for just Dominican players:

2004 - 12.9M (440 players)
2005 - 17.2M (398 players)
2006 - 22.4M (451 players)
2007 - 32.6M (509 players)
2008 - 34.9M (323 players)

It doesn't look like a huge increase in 2008, but that the data was collected while the signing season was on-going. I'm sure the total number of players will be close to the 500 from 2007.

But note, that I made the case in the initial post that the 2008 class is underpaid at the BA reported figure of ~42M for all intl players. And yet that figure represents a doubling from 2 years ago and 3-4-fold increase from 4 years ago. If these international players as a whole are bargains today, then they were practically indentured servants a few years ago.

I have the 2008 draft:intl ratio at about 4:1. I'd guess that the 2004 ratio was closer to 10:1.

And our best guess if that in terms of productivity the ratio is more like 3:1.

Huge bargains to be had overhaul. But a real difficulty in evaluating individual players because it's much more likely that Navarro for 25k will be a better player than Almanzar for 1.5M than that same situation in the draft (although that happens, eg Youkilis for 12k).