The 2020 MLB Draft begins on Wednesday. Upon its completion, clubs will have the chance to sign an unlimited number of unsigned free agents for no more than $20,000 beginning the morning of June 14th.
The Red Sox, who will be limited to just four picks in this year’s draft as a result of their illegal stealing of signs in 2018, could take advantage of this, but as amateur scouting director Paul Toboni notes, there are several factors involved in determining who the Sox may be able to bring on board.
“A couple of different variables are baked in,” Toboni told The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham recently. “How good are they? How much do we value them? How willing are they to sign for $20,000 after the draft, and how likely is it that they pick the Red Sox? Trying to properly game-plan that is challenging.”
In what will be likened to recruiting pitches typically seen in college sports, the Red Sox do not have the luxury other teams have in being within close proximity to baseball hotbeds like California or Florida. Instead, according to Toboni, Boston will rely more on the intangibles when pitching to undrafted prospects later this month.
“The history, the tradition, how we develop players, the family culture we have,” he explained. “Our facilities and the amount of money we put into strength and conditioning and technology and getting our players better. The Red Sox brand carries weight itself.”
Although it’s unclear how many undrafted free agents the Red Sox are planning on signing, Toboni did say that the club is “trying to prepare” for all sorts of different scenarios. The team’s post-draft plans likely hinge on how many prospects decide to leave school behind and instead opt to begin their professional baseball careers.
Don’t quote me on this, but I believe the deadline to sign undrafted players is August 1st.