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July 13, 2021 at 7:00 PM

Welcome to the Draft Signing Period!

Now that the 2021 First-Year Player Draft is in the books, the signing period is upon us. This year's signing deadline is 5:00 pm ET on August 1, 2021. As most of our readers know, each team's spending on draft pick bonuses is capped. The bonus cap is determined by the number and placement of each team's selections. 

The bonus cap sets an aggregate limit for a team to spend on its selections in the first ten rounds, and also limits teams from spending over $125,000 on players taken after the 10th round (the excess on any late-round bonuses will count against the bonus pool). Boston's cap is $11,359,600 this year. If the club exceeds its pool: (1) by 0-5%, it will be charged a 75% tax on the excess; (2) by 5-10%, it will pay the same tax and will also lose its first-round pick next season; (3) by 10-15%, it will be charged a 100% tax on the excess and lose its first- and second-round picks next season; and (4) by more than 15%, 100% tax on the excess and lose its next two first-round picks.

These are obviously harsh penalties, making it highly unlikely that the Red Sox will go more than 5% over the pool limit in any year. However, the team has shown that it is willing to pay the requisite tax and go up to 5% over the cap, which would place the team's spending limit (not counting the first $125,000 given to any pick after the 10th round) at about $11,927,580. One other wrinkle to remember is that if Boston fails to sign any of its picks from the first 10 rounds, the team's pool will be reduced by the slot amount for the unsigned player's draft position. Here are the bonus slots for each of Boston's top picks:

1st round (No. 4): $6,664,000
2nd round (No. 40): $1,856,700
3rd round: $831,00
4th round: $554,300
5th round: $410,100
6th round: $306,800
7th round: $239,000
8th round: $188,900
9th round: $160,300
10th round: $148,400

At first blush, it appears that all of Boston's picks in the first 10 rounds are signable, and some draftees may already have pre-draft deals in place. It seems possible -- although this is entirely speculation -- that No. 4 overall pick Marcelo Mayer could require an overslot bonus for the first round, which may also be the case for Jud Fabian in the second round. Then there are some underslot possibilities in subsequent rounds such as Elmer Rodriguez. 

After the 10th round, the Red Sox took one high profile talent, selecting Green Hope (NC) SS Payton Green in the 15th round. Considered an early round talent, at this early stage it appears likely that Green will honor his commitment to NC State. Red Sox Director of Amateur Scouting Paul Toboni remarked earlier today that he expects that about 13-15 of the draftees will sign. 

For some additional detail, my initial projections on who will sign are in the 2021 MLB Post-Draft Discussion Thread in the SoxProspects Forum.  The projections will be updated regularly, and that thread will include detailed discussion and snippets of info from across the web.

Mike Andrews is Editor-in-Chief of SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikeAndrewsSP.