2020 MLB Draft Will Be Five Rounds

2020 MLB Draft
SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 06 : New York Yankees draftee Aaron Judge poses near the draft board at the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft at the MLB Network on June 6, 2013 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

According to multiple sources, the 2020 MLB will be five rounds.

This news comes after an initial proposal to the MLBPA for a ten-round draft. However, the sides could not come to an agreement under those terms.

Official Draft Rules

According to official MLB draft rules, the basic category of eligible players are:

  • High school players, if they have graduated from high school and have not yet attended college or junior college;
  • College players, from four-year colleges who have either completed their junior or senior years or are at least 21 years old; and
  • Junior college players, regardless of how many years of school they have completed

The full general description can be found here.

A Club generally retains the rights to sign a selected player until 11:59 PM (EDT) August 15, or until the player enters, or returns to, a four-year college on a full-time basis. A player who is drafted and does not sign with the Club that selected him may be drafted again at a future year’s Draft, so long as the player is eligible for that year’s Draft. A Club may not select a player again in a subsequent year unless the player has consented to the re-selection.


With the 2020 draft terms now becoming official, there are now more questions than answers. Now, with a five-round limit, what does it mean for high school and collegiate athletes that remain undrafted? Because there will only be five rounds, the number of drafted players will be significantly lower. In fact, in the first MLB draft held in 1965, there were a total of 813 players selected.

Option A

It can be assumed that most athletes, especially those not expected to be selected in the early rounds of the draft, will choose to attend either a four-year college or junior college and hope that the situation improves. Obviously, fans and MLB executives are happy that there will be a draft this year. However, the ones that hurt the most with this news is the incoming talent. Thousands of players hoping to get drafted will now be forced to wait for an uncertain amount of time. The decision to either remain in school or attend some form of college seemingly becomes a much easier one. But, that comes with a caveat as well: with the NCAA potentially granting an extra year of eligibility for spring athletes, what does it mean for all of the undrafted athletes hoping to earn a scholarship offer now?

Option B

Should an undrafted player decide to forgo school and attempt to enter a team’s minor league system, he will have the option to do so. But, there will be a $20,000 cap for any player not drafted and that player can sign with any team he chooses. As of right now, there are no restrictions whatsoever as to the number of players a team can sign. This raises yet another question as to the imbalance of financially successful and larger market teams. There is the possibility that baseball could briefly revert back to the stone age where the richer teams get richer and the poorer teams get poorer.

If a player is approached by the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers, it would be difficult for that player to say no especially when they would be making the same money if offered by a smaller market team. This could potentially lead to the major market and highly successful teams to stockpile young talent and, in a sense, take advantage of an unprecedented situation. It can be seen as a cost-effective move for teams to scoop up as many talented players as possible when no bonus or restrictions are involved.


Please keep reading lastwordonbaseball.com for the latest developments on the upcoming season and we will have more news as it becomes available to us.

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