NEW YORK (AP) — Teams spent $219.9 million on signing bonuses for selections in baseball's amateur draft this year, up 6 percent from $207.8 million at a similar point last year.
The rise followed a 10 percent drop from a record $233.6 million in 2011, the last year before restrictions imposed by baseball's collective bargaining agreement with players.
Eleven teams went over their signing bonus pools — one more than last year — and will pay a total of $1.8 million in tax, according to preliminary figures compiled by Major League Baseball. But no club went over by more than 5 percent and reached the second level of penalties, which would cause a club to forfeit its next first-round draft pick.
Baseball's labor contract assigns a slot value to all picks in the first 10 rounds, with the amount starting at $7,790,400 this year for the first pick and decreasing to $135,300 for the final selections of the 10th round.
If a team fails to sign a player, the amount of that slot is deducted from its pool. Just eight players in the first 10 rounds didn't sign, including one first-rounder: high school pitcher Phillip Bickford, selected by Toronto with the 10th overall selection.