KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 2020 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft will be shortened to five rounds, according to a report Friday from ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association agreed to shortening the 40-round event to as few as five rounds in March.
Cost-conscious owners, who are losing millions in lost ticket and concessions revenue, pushed for the change over the objections of front-office and scouting personnel, according to ESPN.
The baseball season has been delayed indefinitely by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The slot value for sixth- through 10th-round picks is a little less than $30 million, so the move saves the owners roughly $1 million on average.
Teams will be permitted to sign an unlimited number of undrafted players for $20,000, according to Passan.
MLB, which also could delay the international player signing period this summer, is expected to announce a plan for starting its delayed season next week.