No. 1 Draft Pick For Cleveland Guardians Valued At $10,570,600 (2024)

The Cleveland Guardians have the first selection in the 2024 Major League Baseball draft.

The draft begins Sunday, July 14, 2024, during MLB All Star Week in Arlington, Texas.

There will be 20 rounds in the draft.

Until 2019, the draft consisted of 40 rounds.

Baseball purists still insist the MLB draft is the most reliable and surest way to build a consistently competitive baseball team.

A lottery held at the MLB Winter Meetings on December 5, 2020, determined the draft order of teams for the first six draft picks.

Despite having only a 2% chance, the Guardians won the top draft pick.

MLB gives each club a total dollar value to spend on their entire draft class.

Called “bonus pools” by MLB, a team is penalized if they exceed their bonus pool.

This writer asked MLB.com's Jim Callis how bonus pools are determined. Here is his response:

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“The values for each pick are negotiated between MLB & the MLB Player’s Association. They rise each year by a percentage that mirrors the rise in industry revenues. Those values are tweaked each time there's a new CBA. You add the values for each club's picks in the first 10 rounds, and that equals their bonus pools.”

Teams are challenged to spread their entire financial allocation throughout the entire draft. They are penalized if they exceed the “bonus pool” in signing bonuses.

For example, the total “bonus pool” for the Cleveland Guardians is $18,334.000.

MLB also “suggests” a specific value for the player selected in each specific round.

Using the same Guardians example, MLB “suggests” the Guardians offer their first round selection $10,570,600. The team, however, can offer the player any amount. The player may choose to accept or reject that offer.

The amount of bonus money paid to the player in any round is deducted from the team’s overall bonus pool allotment.

Again using the Guardians as an example, if they choose to pay their first round player $9,334,000, they will have $9 million remaining to spread among the rest of their draft picks.

It would have meant the player signed for $1,236,600 under that round’s suggested amount. That money can now be spread among the remainder of the players selected by the Guardians.

Draft Order:

The First Round draft order, including each team’s “bonus pool” is listed below.

Note: Because of the lottery system, draft pools do not correspond to draft order.

The number in parentheses is the MLB suggested value for the round.

Cleveland Guardians-$18,334,000 ($10,570,600)

Cincinnati Reds=$15,842,100 ($9,785,000)

Colorado Rockies=$17,243,400 ($9,070,800)

Oakland Athletics=$15,347,900 ($8,370,800)

Chicago White Sox=$14,593,300 ($7,763,700)

Kansas City Royals=$15,418,300 ($7,213,800)

St. Louis Cardinals=$10,213,000 ($6,823,700)

Los Angeles Angels-$12,990,400 ($6,502,800)

Pittsburgh Pirates=$14,000,500 ($6,216,600)

Washington Nationals-$11,500,100 ($5,953,800)

Detroit Tigers=$11,921,800 ($5,712,100)

Boston Red Sox=$10,521,600 ($5,484,600)

San Francisco Giants=$7,566,200 ($5,272,300)

Chicago Cubs=$9,802,300 ($5,070,700)

Seattle Mariners=$9,543,300 ($4,880,900)

Miami Marlins=$10,438,500 ($4,704,700)

Milwaukee Brewers=$12,984,400 ($4,534,100)

Tampa Bay Rays=$10,093,100 ($4,372,900)

New York Mets=$9,572,200 ($4.219,200)

Toronto Blue Jays=$8,987,000 ($4,073,400)

Minnesota Twins=$12,209,600 ($3,934,400)

Baltimore Orioles=$10,920,900 ($3,802,200)

Los Angeles Dodgers=$6,114,700 ($3,676,400)

Atlanta Braves=$7,765,000 ($3,556,300)

San Diego Padres=$9,360,500 ($3,442,100)

New York Yankees=$8,134,500 ($3,332,900)

Philadelphia Phillies=$7,381,800 ($3,228,300)

Houston Astros=$5,914,700 ($3,132,500)

Arizona Diamondbacks=$12,662,000 ($3,045,500)

Texas Rangers=$6,997,900 ($2,971,300)

The Padres and Yankees picks were dropped 10 spots each for exceeding the MLB competitive-balance tax threshold by more than $40 million.

Draft Strategy:

Last year, the Pittsburgh Pirates chose pitcher Paul Skenes with the first overall pick in the draft.

Skenes has made it to the big leagues already, and is having a terrific start to his career. He made the National League All Star team.

But there is certainly no guarantee that drafted players will find success.

Every team enters the draft with a specific strategy.

Some teams draft for team need in the first round, while other clubs will choose the player the team feels is the best available, regardless of the player’s defensive position.

Teams with a combination of a high first round draft pick, and a large bonus pool may opt to “save” money on early draft selections, spreading the money among lower draft picks.

The money they save can be used to increase the value of a lesser draft pick.

In 2019, the Baltimore Orioles selected catcher Adley Rutschman of Oregon State as their No. 1 overall draft pick.

The “value” for the pick was $8,415,300.

The Orioles signed Rutschman for $8.1 million, saving $315,300.

The Orioles signed their No. 2 selection that year, Gunnar Henderson, for $2.3 million. The value was $1,771,000.

Henderson was a high school player in Alabama.

The additional signing bonus may have helped entice Henderson to enter Major League Baseball, rather than play collegiate baseball at Auburn University.

Now, in 2024, both Rutschman and Henderson are two of the most dynamic players in baseball.

There is no question excelllent draft decisions have helped catapult teams like the surging Baltimore Orioles, and improving Pittsburgh Pirates to new MLB relevance.

Now, the Cleveland Guardians have the No. 1 overall pick in the July MLB draft.

The players they select, and the manner in which they choose to spend their draft pool will be the subject of scrutiny for years to come.

No. 1 Draft Pick For Cleveland Guardians Valued At $10,570,600 (2024)

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