2022 MLB Draft: Dodgers sign 3rd-rounder Alex Freeland, five others

Alex Freeland

The first round of MLB Draft signings are in, and the Dodgers have made some decent progress so far. They’ve signed six of their 19 selections, and one looks like he’s heading to school.

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Before we get into the details, here’s a refresher course on the bonus pool rules.

Bonus Pool

Every pick in the draft has a slot amount allotted to them. A player can be signed for more or less than the recommended amount, but a team cannot exceed its bonus pool without incurring penalties. If a draftee does not sign, teams lose that signing bonus from their overall pool (i.e., if Daulton Rushing doesn’t sign, the Dodgers’ bonus pool would decline by $1,950,900). Bonuses for undrafted free agents aren’t capped at $20,000 anymore, which is good! Like a post-10th-round signee, anything over $125,000 will count against the pool.

Here are how the overage penalties shake out.

Overage (percentage)Penalty (taxed amount)
0-4.9975 percent tax on overage
5-9.9975 percent tax on overage
Loss of 2023 1st-round pick
10-14.99100 percent tax on overage
Loss of 2023 1st- and 2nd-round picks
15-plus100 percent tax
Loss of 1st-round picks in 2023 and 2024

Most teams live in the 0-4.99% range. The Dodgers can go up to $211,069 (5 percent, less $1) over their allotted slot amount of $4,646,700 without losing a draft pick. No team has ever exceeded this bonus pool since this system was implemented in 2012, and it isn’t going to happen now.

And we can’t forget about the accounting trick.

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Teams have until Aug. 1 (Monday) at 2 p.m. Pacific time to sign their draftees.

RoundPlayerSlotBonusSavings
2Dalton Rushing$1,950,900unsigned?
3Alex Freeland$582,400$580,200$2,200
4Nick Biddison$435,000unsigned?
5Sean McLain$325,200unsigned?
6Logan Wagner$253,200$600,000($346,800)
7Christopher Campos$199,700unsigned?
8Taylor Young$169,000$2,500$166,500
9Brandon Neeck$156,500$27,500$129,000
10Simon Reid$142,200$2,500$139,700
Total$4,221,400$632,500$90,600

Freeland signing for what is basically slot value is a good get for the offensive-minded middle infielder.

Puerto Rican shortstop Nicolas Perez, the youngest player the Dodgers drafted, would be a nice get for LA.

Wagner is foregoing his commitment to Louisville to be the biggest 6th-round over-slot signee the Dodgers have had in the Billy Gasparino era. He got roughly what amounts to late-3rd round money, so it shows how highly the Dodgers think of the switch-hitting third baseman.

Young and Reid were always going to be cheap signs, and the Dodgers stick with their standard $2,500. Of course, Tony Gonsolin was a cheap sign (also $2,500) and he’s an All-Star. He’s the exception for sure, but the Dodgers have the best player developmental system in the game, so we’ll see if they become anything.

The Dodgers also signed 17th-rounder RHP Payton Martin.

His $125,000 bonus won’t count against the Dodgers’ pool.

Undrafted free agent RHP Connor Godwin also got a $125,000 bonus.

And it appears 20th-rounder SS Carter McCulley appears to be heading to school.

They can sign him for up to $225,000 (with no pool penalty) before next year’s draft, since he’s going to a junior college (despite the “State” in the school’s name).

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More draft signings will come rolling in. With Wagner signed, they should — pretty comfortably — be able to get all nine of their top selections signed before the deadline.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.