The 2024 MLB Draft

How Do MLB Draft Slot Values Work? Here's What To Know

How Do MLB Draft Slot Values Work? Here's What To Know

MLB draft slot values shape organizations' approach to selecting amateur prospects. Learn how the system works.

Jun 26, 2024 by Kyle Kensing

The 2024 MLB Draft begins on July 14, emanating from Fort Worth, and promises to shape the landscape of Major League Baseball in the coming years. The MLB draft itself, meanwhile, is shaped by draft slot values in a process that requires a unique strategy somewhat different from other pro leagues' selection processes. 

This year's draft is the second since MLB introduced a lottery system for the first six selections. The Cleveland Guardians drew No. 1 for the 2024 MLB Draft, with their in-state counterparts from the National League, the Cincinnati Reds, picking second. 

The Colorado Rockies draft third, the Oakland A's draft fourth, and American League Central rivals the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals are slotted No. 5 and 6. 

How Do MLB Draft Slot Values Work?

Every team in the MLB Draft, including the top six, adheres to slot values assigned to each selection of the first 10 rounds. For reference, here is the complete 1st Round of slot values as detailed at 

  1. Guardians: $10,570,600 
  2. Reds: $9,785,000
  3. Rockies: $9,070,800 
  4. Athletics: $8,370,800 
  5. White Sox: $7,763,700 
  6. Royals: $7,213,800 
  7. Cardinals: $6,823,700 
  8. Angels: $6,502,800 
  9. Pirates: $6,216,600 
  10. Nationals: $5,953,800 
  11. Tigers: $5,712,100 
  12. Red Sox: $5,484,600 
  13. Giants: $5,272,300 
  14. Cubs: $5,070,700 
  15. Mariners: $4,880,900 
  16. Marlins: $4,704,700 
  17. Brewers: $4,534,100 
  18. Rays: $4,372,900 
  19. Mets: $4,219,200* 
  20. Blue Jays: $4,073,400 
  21. Twins: $3,934,400 
  22. Orioles: $3,802,200 
  23. Dodgers: $3,676,400 
  24. Braves: $3,556,300 
  25. Padres: $3,442,100* 
  26. Yankees: $3,332,900* 
  27. Phillies: $3,228,300 
  28. Astros: $3,132,500 
  29. Diamondbacks: $3,045,500 
  30. Rangers: $2,971,300

An asterisk denotes picks dropped from where the franchises would have selected based on their previous season's record. This is the penalty for exceeding the competitive-balance tax threshold by $40 million or more — and this coincides with the purpose of MLB draft slot values. 

The system is designed to encourage parity by designating a value to each selection that organizations cannot go beyond without a penalty. Franchises with less revenue are able to sign top prospects without being pulled into bidding wars over astronomical signing bonuses, which was introduced with the introduction of a new collective bargaining agreement in 2012. 

Last year's No. 1 drafting organization, the Pittsburgh Pirates, was No. 25 in valuation last year per However, the Pirates were able to sign top overall pick and instant 2024 MLB sensation Paul Skenes at $9.2 million. 

This was a win-win situation: Skenes' deal was actually just shy of the draft slot value of $9.7 million, but still the highest such contract ever signed. 

With the Guardians' 2024 No. 1 pick valued at almost $10.6 million, Skenes' record could be short-lived. The increase is a reflection of MLB's revenue growth in the past year. 

Likewise, each front office is working with a deeper bonus pool from which to operate its draft strategy. 

Cleveland's $18,334,000 million bonus pool is the richest of the 2024 MLB draft, followed by Colorado at $17,243,400. Houston's is the lowest at $5,914,700. Baseball America reports that "many teams will over their total bonus pools and incur a tax, though no team has ever gone over the five percent threshold that triggers pick loss penalties in the bonus pool era." 

Both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Baltimore Orioles added to their 2024 bonus pool with Prospect Promotion Incentive (PPI) picks earned for having the National League and American League recipients of the Jack Robinson Award given to Rookie of the Year (Corbin Carroll and Gunnar Henderson). 

Last year, the Seattle Mariners drafted Jonny Farmelo with the No. 29 overall pick they were awarded as a result of Julio Rodriguez's PPI status. 

The Minnesota Twins earned a free-agent compensation pick with a draft slot value of $2,766,100 for Sonny Gray, who signed with St. Louis in the offseason. Each of the Diamond, Guardians, Pirates, Rockies, Royals, and Milwaukee Brewers also earned more than $2 million for their bonus pools with competitive balance round A picks. 

When Is The 2024 MLB Draft?

The MLB Draft is July 14-16 in Fort Worth, Texas. Coverage on MLB TV will begin at 5 p.m. EST on July 14 and noon on July 15 and 16th.

More MLB Draft 2024 Coverage 

MLB Draft 2024 Order

The New York Mets, New York Yankees and San Diego Padres’ first picks dropped 10 spots because the clubs exceeded the second surcharge threshold of the competitive balance tax by more than $40 million. 

Here’s the order: 

  1. Cleveland Guardians
  2. Cincinnati Reds
  3. Colorado Rockies
  4. Oakland A’s
  5. Chicago White Sox
  6. Kansas City Royals
  7. St. Louis Cardinals 
  8. Los Angeles Angels 
  9. Pittsburgh Pirates
  10. Washington Nationals 
  11. Detroit Tigers
  12. Boston Red Sox
  13. San Francisco Giants
  14. Chicago Cubs
  15. Seattle Mariners
  16. Miami Marlins 
  17. Milwaukee Brewers
  18. Tampa Bay Rays
  19. New York Mets
  20. Toronto Blue Jays
  21. Minnesota Twins
  22. Baltimore Orioles 
  23. Los Angeles Dodgers 
  24. Atlanta Braves 
  25. San Diego Padres 
  26. New York Yankees
  27. Philadelphia Phillies 
  28. Houston Astros 
  29. Arizona Diamondbacks 
  30. Texas Rangers
  31. Arizona Diamondbacks
  32. Baltimore Orioles 
  33. Minnesota Twins
  34. Baltimore Orioles
  35. Arizona Diamondbacks
  36. Cleveland Guardians
  37. Pittsburgh Pirates
  38. Colorado Rockies
  39. Kansas City Royals

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