Major League Baseball Historical Expansion Drafts


The American League added two teams in 1961: the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators. These teams did not pay a franchise fee, but they did each commit to pay at least $2.1 million to the rest of the through in the form of fees paid for players taken in the expansion draft. In addition, the Angels also had to pay $550,000 to the Los Angeles Dodgers as compensation for moving into their metropolitan area.

For the expansion draft, each existing American League club was required to make available 15 players, including at least seven players who had been on that squad's 25-man roster on or before September 1st, 1960. The new teams paid $75,000 for each of the 28 players they drafted. The players drafted were subject to position requirements. Each team had to draft at least ten pitchers, two catchers, six infielders and four outfielders. The expansion teams were also allowed to draft a player from each current team's farm system for an additional fee of $25,000. The Angels drafted two such minor leaguers and the Senators drafted three. All told, the Angels paid $2,150,000 for 30 players and the Senators paid $2,175,000 for 31 players.


The National League followed the American League's lead by adding two expansion teams of their own in 1962: the Houston Colt 45's and the New York Mets. Again, there were no explicit franchise fees. The National League used the same expansion draft rules as the American League. Fifteen players were made available from each existing club, including seven from the 25-man roster as of August 31st, 1961. Both teams were required to pick two players from each roster for $75,000 each, and allowed to pick a third player for $50,000. After these three "rounds", each existing club posted two more players from its 25-man roster for a "premium draft", with Houston and New York each picking four players, at a cost of $125,000 each. The Mets spent $1.8 million for 22 players. The Colt 45's spent $1,850,000 for 23 players.


In 1969, the American League and National League each added two teams. The Kansas City Royals and Seattle Pilots each paid a $100,000 franchise fee to join the American League. In addition, each team acquired 30 players (3 from each established American League team) for $175,000 each. Each established team was allowed to protect 15 players, plus 3 more after each round (each established team lost exactly one player in each round). Additionally, the new clubs agreed not to share in national television revenue from 1969-71, costing them an additional $2,062,500. This brough each franchise's total startup cost to $7,312,500.

The Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres each paid a $4 million franchise fee to join the National League. Each team was also required to prove they had an additional $2.5 million in working capital. In addition, each team acquired 30 players (3 from each established National League team) for $200,000 each. Each established team was allowed to protect 15 players, plus 3 more after each round (each established team lost exactly one player in each round).Unlike the American League, the National League expansion teams were allowed an equal share in national television revenue.


In 1977, the American League added the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners (the Seattle Pilots had relocated to Milwaukee as the Milwaukee Brewers). Toronto paid a franchise fee of $1.75 million. Seattle paid only $1.25 million, thanks in part to the settlemetn of an antitrust suit filed against Major League Baseball.

In addition, each team drafted 30 players from the other American Leagues, paying a fee of $175,000 for each player drafted. Each established team was allowed to protect 15 players in the first round, plus three more after each of the first three rounds (and two more players after the fourth round).


In 1993, the National League added the Colorado Rockies and the Florida Marlins. Each team paid a $95 million franchise fee which included the rights for each team to draft 36 players. The Rockies and Marlins also forfeited their share of national television revenue for 1993 -- about $14 million more per team. The American League received 22% of the franchise fees, but was also required to participate in the expansion draft. Each existing team was allowed to protect 15 players. After each of the first two rounds, National League teams were allowed to add three players to their protection lists; American League teams were allowed to add four more. The third and final round consisted of only 20 draft picks: all 12 National League clubs lost a player, but only 8 of the 14 American League clubs lost players.

The 1993 Expansion Draft was held on November 17th, 1992.


In 1998, Major League Baseball added one American League team (the Tampa Bay Devil Rays) and one National League team (the Arizona Diamondbacks). This expansion also included moving the Milwaukee Brewers from American League to the National League in order to maintain an even number of teams in each league.

Each expansion franchise paid a fee of $130 million directly to baseball's central fund, broken out as follows: $32 million in July 1995, $25 million in July 1996, $40 million in July 1997 and $33 million in November 1997. In addition, the two expansion teams gave away their rights to $5 million from baseball's central fund for each of the five years following expansion (1998-2002). This brought the total franchise fee to $155 million for each team.

The draft pool included all players on the 40-man roster, plus anyone in the organization drafted more than three years before the expansion draft (in the 1994 amateur draft, or earlier). It also included players drafted in the 1995 amateur drafted who were age 19 or older on draft day. The draft lasted two-and-a-half rounds, with each of the first two rounds lasting until each established franchise had lost exactly one player. Thus, each of the first two rounds had 28 picks, and the third round had only 14 picks. After each round, each existing team was allowed to add three additional players to their list of protected players. In the third and final round, no team could lose more than one player, and no league could lose more than seven players.