CBA Madness: Even more draft changes

Open Thread: 42 for 42
Trading with the AL

The other day we heard about the smaller-than-expected draft pool and the inability to allocate the money for unsigned picks elsewhere, and now Jim Callis brings us even more draft changes. For one, they’re cutting ten rounds, so it’ll be just 40 rounds from now on. That’s actually a good change, they could probably lop off another ten rounds.

Another significant changes as to do with compensation picks for unsigned players. Teams will now get an extra year of protection, meaning if they can’t sign the guy they took with one of those comp picks, they will get a pick again the next year. If you can’t sign a player the third time, then too bad. That’s why they lose it. Also, any under-the-table agreements to circumvent the draft pool are strictly prohibited. There are no loopholes. I recommend clicking the link and reading Callis’ full recap, there are a lot more changes in there than I highlighted.

Open Thread: 42 for 42
Trading with the AL
  • mbonzo

    Does anyone know how MLB plans to deal with teams that challenge the international cap? Half these new rules seem very hard to enforce, including forcing players into the allstar game.

    • mbonzo

      Just read EJ’s article on TYA, TLDR, Yankees can spend all they want every other year.

      • Mike Axisa

        They can do that, but then they take themselves out of the running for half the talent pool.

        • mbonzo

          If they expand the baseball academies they’ll have a better idea when they should go over the limit. Going over every other year isn’t necessarily the best idea, but if they see a few players they like and the next year will be weak, its time to break the rules.

          • RetroRob

            The CBA appears to do a very good job of eliminating the competitive advantages of operating extensive scouting operations and baseball academies. Expect a retraction of dollars spent in specific international markets since the payoff is not there.

          • Ted Nelson

            It’s not breaking the rules… The rules are that you can spend, but go over certain limits and you’ll face certain penalties.

            I imagine that what MLB plans to do about it is simply enforce the penalties.

            As far as All-Star games, they could force guys who miss the game to spend X games on the DL and fine guys they prove violated the rule. I don’t think the intent is to be Nazi’s, just to incentivize participation and punish skipping it.

            • mbonzo

              I hate arguing semantics, but you are breaking a rule. The penalty, as you put it, will punish you for doing so. The very definition of penalty is “a punishment imposed or incurred for a violation of law or rule.” So when it comes down to it, teams will break the cap rule, and I bet the next CBA will fix that with a stricter punishment or international draft.

              As for the All-Star game, I agree that they’re not trying to be dicks, but they need to set their priorities. The game has become a joke with interleague games so frequent. (And now even more frequent) I don’t see how they’ll be able to get away with a fine when you get a circumstance like Jeter in 2011 where he was coming off an injury and needed time off. The player’s association is gonna be really pissed off if someone is forced to risk injury by playing, forced time off on the DL, or forced to pay a fine. I don’t see this rule working. The idea to get as many players involved is good, but maybe they should make it so players want to go rather than forcing them.

              • Ted Nelson

                I am not trying to argue semantics. Semantics aside, the rules specifically allow for a team to go over the spending limit. If it was a hard rule, they would have just made a hard cap…

                “The player’s association is gonna be really pissed off if someone is forced to risk injury by playing, forced time off on the DL, or forced to pay a fine.”

                Again… the PA signed an agreement knowing that this was part of it.

                How are they going to get good players to want to go?

        • Need Pitching

          seems like in the long run, it might work best in terms of total talent accumulated though, really load up in the first year (trying to sign 2 years worth of top IFA’s, then be limited to lesser, cheaper prospect in the next year) It might be especially worthwhile in 2013, since there will likely be new rules and a draft for 2014, so there may not be consequences to going way over slot

          • RetroRob

            If scenarios like this are possible then we may very well see things like that happen, including having talented young players try to group themselves together for drafting in a year when the every-other-year Yankees plan to come in and pay big.

            If this (or other perversions to the rules) begin to happen, it will fuel the idea of an international draft. In fact, didn’t I read last week that the two sides were working toward an international draft as soon as maybe 2014?

            • Need Pitching

              yes, it seems like a draft is likely then, and if the draft isn’t in place by then, the penalties will increase for exceeding slot
              So most likely, going way over cap would only be a one time occurrence, not something that will keep happening, because a draft or increased penalties would be in place before a team could do this a second time

        • MattG

          If they can do that, then the IFAs (and their agents) will eventually take it upon themselves to wait a year when necessary. It is making my head hurt trying to figure out these rules (and the way in which the Yankees will game the system), but it’s easy to see an IFA waiting a year to earn an extra million, if that is in fact the scenario the rules will dictate.

  • Grammar Police


    • MattG

      There’s about eight sics in the two paragraphs. I really don’t want to be that guy, as it’s an informal blog and it’s all good (and I am no champ at grammar myself), but the English language took one to the groin here.

  • RetroRob

    Have they signed the final agreement, or are they still dotting the i’s?

  • Plank

    I’m curious about the amount of debt teams (and owners) can hold.

    What teams are currently breaking the rule? Mets? What teams will be under the new rules? What is the punishment?

    The fact that owners can’t use team funds to pay private debts seems pretty clearly aimed at the Dodgers and Rangers of the MLB.

    • MattG

      I am pretty pissed that the Yankees (allegedly) will be competing for free agents with a team that filed for bankruptcy 2-3 years ago. How did that happen?

      Don’t answer. I don’t really care. The Rangers were a poster-child for fiscal irresponsibility, ironically the label most attribute to the Yankees, and now they are a front-runner for Yu? Something about that is not right.

      • Sarah

        It is a different ownership group, so the financial situation is different. That’s the short version. Not to mention the team went to the WS two years in a row and has some money as a result.

        The Yankees could outbid any team they want for Darvish or any other player. The Rangers aren’t prohibiting that from happening. The Yankees’ front office and ownership are choosing to not go nuts on any player (right now).

  • Januz

    What MLB teams will be doing is essentially taking a page out of the Yankees Draft Playbook, which is sticking to a certain budget, cultivating relationships with certain guys, and in some cases, getting them signed for below what was projected (Ex: Dan Camarena). The budget and earlier signing date will essentially force teams to prioritize who they want to sign and for how much. I also like the fact that the Rounds were cut to 40 (The Yankees only signed one guy past the 30th Round anyway (Joseph Maher)). What we saw with the entire 2011 draft was very small (23 guys) but almost no projected filler (Cody Grice might be it), I also like the fact that teams do not have to get permission from the Comissioners Office to get things done and retard development. Ultimately, I think one thing that will occur is a phasing out of minor league teams (Particularly those with poor attendance and (Or) poor facilities, because there will be fewer players signed to field those teams.I really am in favor of these changes.

  • MattG

    Do bonuses to undrafted free agents impact the cap? We will suddenly hear of kids making definitive proclamations of their intent to go to school, in the hopes that, as teams will no longer be able to buy them out of their commitments, they actually end up undrafted?

    I suppose not. Even if those signings would not count towards the cap, I imagine many teams will use their 3Xth pick to select these guys, with no intention of signing them, to keep them away from Boston and New York.

    • RetroRob

      Yes, that is possible. As I read the rules (and, once again, I can be missing something or totally misunderstanding something since the reporting and details still seem pretty fluid, although firming), it seems highly unlikely teams will draft a player like Austin Jackson. I see no way the Royals draft Bubba Starling. No way the Dodgers draft Zach Lee. They are just not going to use a draft pick on someone they can’t be sure they can sign and don’t have the flexibility to ensure they can sign him by increasing the offer.

  • RetroRob

    It’ll be interesting to see how the signing of players proceeds next June. A team has to understand, for example, how much its #1 pick will cost in order to know how much money is left for the remainder of its picks. An agent like Scott Boras could use that to his negotiating advantage, holding a team hostage as the deadline approaches, not only blocking a team from signing his player, but stalling the signing of other players.

    If I understand all the machinations here, if a team doesn’t sign its pick, then the money can’t be shifted down to lower drafted players. Yet a team can sign a player overslot recommendation, reducing the overall pot they have to spend.

    It also appears that if a team signs its pick underslot, then the remaining money can be shifted to lower picks. They are only penalized if they don’t sign the pick at all. I could be wrong about that, but that’s how it appears to read. If that’s the case, then it might encourage teams to go the Cito Culver and Dante Bichette (or worse) picks in the early rounds, in the attempt to get more talented players that slip.

    It’s really hard to say how this will play out, but I predict right now that the highest percentage of unsigned players ever happens with the upcoming June draft.

    • JohnnyC

      It basically guarantees that high school seniors will go to college at a much higher rate — even those selected in the first few rounds. This means that most first time free agents will be about 30 or older. With the supposed eradication of PEDs, very few players will ever get multiple free agent contracts. That’s Selig’s calculation anyway.

      • Tom Swift

        not sure about that. There may be a tendency to skip college because college just delays free agency with no prospect of a bigger signing bonus in the case of the elite high school players.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    In the name of competitive balance the comish has put a stranglehold on free enterprise. The more I read about it, the more I am convinced it is clearly aimed at the Yankees. Why should the comish have to restrict the earnings of IFAs? I know the owners voted in favor but I am sure that a few may have done it under pressure. This is speculation on my part and I have no proof,just suspicions.