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MLB to cut amateur draft from 40 rounds to five

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball will cuts its amateur draft from 40 rounds to five this year, a move that figures to save teams about $30 million.

Clubs gained the ability to reduce the draft as part of their March 26 agreement with the players’ association and MLB plans to finalize a decision next week to go with the minimum, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because no decision was announced.

There will be just 160 players drafted, and the combined value of their signing bonus pools is $235,906,800. The amount of signing bonus pool money eliminated is $29,578,100.

As part of the agreement with the union, players passed over in the draft are limited to signing bonuses of $20,000 or less. That might cause more high school players elect to go to college. And because of the NCAA’s limit of 11.7 baseball scholarships, the change may cause more prospects to attend junior college.

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