Under normal circumstances, the Boston Red Sox' punishment for illegally decoding sides in 2018 would be shrugged off and considered hardly a punishment at all.
Obviously, circumstances right now are far from normal.
As part of what was supposed to be a light punishment, Major League Baseball stripped the Red Sox of their 2020 second-round draft pick. Since the MLB Draft usually consists of 40 rounds, that wasn't considered a huge deal.
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But as the league looks to cut costs due to COVID-19, the draft has reportedly been shortened to only five rounds. That makes the loss of a second-rounder much more significant, especially when a focus for the organization right now is rebuilding the lackluster farm system.
"The potential limitations of the draft this year obviously make that punishment loom larger," chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said last month. "There have been some really outstanding second-round picks in the history of this organization.
"As we look to compete and make sure we have our pipeline full, you want to make sure you have every possible avenue to add talent to the organization and this is one. That particular pick is one we won't have. That's significant, but we understand and respect the penalty the commissioner levied."
Notable second-round picks made by the Red Sox over the years include Curt Schilling (1986), Jon Lester (2002), and Dustin Pedroia (2004).
The Red Sox also will lose some money as a result of the lost pick. They'll now have $5,111,100 to spend in the five-round draft instead of $6,514,300, as the pick they lost at No. 52 overall included a bonus slot value of $1,403,200.
As for players who go undrafted, they'll be eligible to sign with any team for a maximum of $20,000.
The abbreviated MLB Draft currently is scheduled to begin on June 10.