Atlanta Braves Sign First Nine of Their First Eleven Picks From the Rule 4 Draft

With the 2023 MLB Draft done, teams got to work signing their picks and deciding what amounts each would receive. The Atlanta Braves inked nine of their first eleven picks on Thursday.
Today the Atlanta Braves signed their first-round draft pick, pitcher Hurston Waldrep.
Today the Atlanta Braves signed their first-round draft pick, pitcher Hurston Waldrep. / Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
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The Atlanta Braves always work quickly to sign their selections, a fact highlighted by the news that the club signed four of their 11 first-round picks.

Getting those signatures allows everybody to exhale and work on rounds 11-20 and any undrafted free agents they’ve got their eyes on.

This post lists the players signed and the pool money spent so far. Keeping track of the pool is important because of potential penalties for exceeding their pool allowance or failing to sign a pick.

The Pool and Penalties

The league allocates a different amount of money for each team to spend in rounds 1 through 10. The Atlanta Braves received a Pool Allowance of $8,341,700 divided into an amount for each draft slot.

Teams may spend up to 5% above their draft pool without incurring a penalty. Adding the 5% maximum to the base pool amount gives them a maximum of approximately $8,758,785. 

The league’s used the pool format for 11 years, and all teams maximize their use of the penalty-free money.

Players in rounds 11-20 have a slot of $150K. Teams may pay more, but if they do, that amount counts as part of the draft pool and could push a team over the 5% line, and crossing the line triggers severe penalties.

I said the penalties for overspending are draconian, but you can judge for yourself.

  • A team that overspends between zero to five percent of their pool is charged a 75%tax on their overage.
  • A team that overspends between 5 and 10 percent of their pool pays a 75% tax on the overage AND loses next year's first-round pick.
  • A team so foolish as to overspend from 10 to 15 percent pays a 100% tax on the overage and loses their first-round and second-round pick the following year.
  • If a team managed by morons exceeds the pool by more than 15 percent, they pay a 100% tax on the overage and lose the first-round pick for the next two years.

That explains why even deep-pocket teams have never exceeded the 5% mark.