Super-agent Scott Boras believes the part of the new agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association that caps spending on drafted players was an egregious concession by the union.
"It's unconscionable the owners in this climate would reduce the collectively bargained money given to drafted players in the top rounds," Boras told Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic.
Under the new agreement, slotted draft bonuses will be capped for the next two seasons at the 2019 rate. Those slotted draft bonuses would typically increase by 3% each year.
MLB has the right to shorten the draft from its typical 40 rounds to five rounds and every player that goes undrafted will have their bonus capped at $20,000 before it starts counting against the team's bonus pool, as opposed to the typical $125,000 soft cap.
Bonuses will also be deferred this season. Prospects will earn $100,000 this year and have the remainder of their bonus split equally between two lump-sum payments in 2021 and 2022.
"I don't mind them reducing the rounds," Boras continued. "That's not the issue. It's reducing the payments to those players. To cut their bonuses in this climate and use a pandemic situation in our country as a means to do that, I really find it unconscionable.
"The best players do not deserve to have their bonuses cut. That’s who you should invest in."
Boras' clients now include many of the top earners in baseball like Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper, but he got his start by representing players entering the draft. He has routinely advocated for lifting the bonuses and salaries of prospects.
When drafted first overall in 2011, Cole's $8-million signing bonus set an MLB record that stood for eight years until this past draft, when Adley Rutschman received an $8.1-million bonus from the Baltimore Orioles.