Jonathan Mayo

Draft bonus pools change after Astros awarded Cards' picks

Draft bonus pools change after Astros awarded Cards' picks

The decision handed down by Commissioner Rob Manfred penalizing the St. Louis Cardinals their first two picks in the 2017 Draft certainly changes the landscape for the June event.

The Cardinals had already given up their first-round pick (No. 19 overall) when they signed free agent Dexter Fowler. Because of former scouting director Chris Correa's hacking into the Astros' database, Manfred is forcing St. Louis to give its next two picks, Nos. 56 and 75, to the Astros. Those picks come in the second round and Competitive Balance Round B. As a result, the Cardinals won't make their first selection until pick No. 94, in the third round, the latest the Cardinals have picked since 2002.

Draft order

The Astros, on the other hand, now have a nice bounty of Draft picks. Already the owners of the No. 15 overall pick in the Draft, the exchange of the two picks gives Houston four of the first 75 selections, the most they've had that early in the Draft since the Astros had five picks in the top 79 -- including four of the top 46 -- in 2015, when they selected Nos. 2, 5, 37, 46 and 79 in the first three rounds.

And this goes beyond just the picks. Teams have become very creative in using bonus pool money effectively, the Astros chief among them, showing an ability to move money around the top 10 rounds to aggressively go after talent in the Draft.

• 2017 MLB Draft: June 12-14 on MLB Network,

Pick No. 56 has a value of $1,122,400 and the 75th overall pick value has been set at $730,800, according to information obtained by That's an increase of the Astros' pool of just over $1.8 million, bringing their total pool for the top 10 rounds to more than $8.6 million. That would put them right outside of the top 10 currently in terms of pool money.

Conversely, the loss of that $1.8 million and change drops the Cardinals' overall bonus pool to just a shade over $2.07 million. Not surprisingly, that would give them by far the smallest pool to draw from over the top 10 rounds of the upcoming Draft.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.