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June 7, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Draft recap: Explaining Boston's strategy

This being the first draft under the new collective bargaining agreement, there was no past precedent to guide how teams would operate. The rules set a certain value for each pick in the first 10 rounds, which adds up to create a team’s total allotment or bonus pool limit for that draft, the penalties of exceeding which are so steep it is believed no teams will do so. The tricky part is if a team does not sign one of those draftees selected in the first 10 rounds, the value assigned to that pick is subtracted from their total pool. After those 10 rounds, any bonus given out in excess of $100,000 counts against the total pool assigned.

What does that all mean? That it makes a lot of sense for teams to be sure they can sign all (or most) of their picks in the first 10 rounds because if they don’t sign them, the money assigned for that slot is lost. If they can sign a guy for below-slot in rounds 1 through 10 then they keep the total bonus assigned to that slot in their pool, and can use whatever is left over to redistribute elsewhere.

This seems to have been what the Red Sox had in mind when selecting an unprecedented number of college players, and specifically seniors, in those rounds.

Read the full column on ESPN Boston.