Report: New CBA to include hard cap for international signings


Via Melissa Segura, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will include both a hard cap and floor for international free agent signings. It’s unclear when this would be put into place. I have to think veterans from Japan would be excluded since MLB has traditionally treated those players like big league free agents, not amateurs.

The hard cap is very bad news for the Yankees, who are annually among the top spenders in Latin America and really build the backbone of their farm system through international free agency. I also have no idea how MLB intends to promote the game internationally by imposing what amounts to a salary cap for players outside of the United States. Just doesn’t make sense to me, but I guess that’s why I’m not the one calling the shots.


  1. vinny-b says:

    not good.

  2. vinny-b says:

    that and, this is the year to sign Cepedes for the OF. Get it done.

    • Cris Pengiucci says:

      Yup, if this is not implemented unitl the 2012 season ends, take your shot now and spend big on International FAs. Even i fyou have the money, you won’t be able to spend it next year. Now I’m all in on Cespedes.

  3. Peter R says:

    Is it a hardcap per deal so an agent to agent basis the Yanks are capped? Or a hardcap for the total the Yanks can spend a year on internationals?

    The first is bad, the second not as bad but bad still.

  4. Plank says:

    What are the players getting in this CBA? Everything coming out are changes designed to save the owners money.

    • thenamestsam says:

      Well the current players aren’t really losing much in this, and they’ve always seemed willing to screw over the next generation of players to save the owners money in exchange for the current players not having to make any sacrifices.

  5. bonestock94 says:

    Wow, if PR was any indication this could be really bad for international baseball.

    • thenamestsam says:

      Yeah my biggest concern is just that this will be horrible for baseball. The talent is going to dry up quickly if the money does.

      • Zack D says:

        And the talent will go where? NBA has international players in their two round draft and need to be 19, NFL needs 3 years out of HS, NHL is non factor. Biggest threat is soccer?

      • Ted Nelson says:

        A cap doesn’t mean the money is disappearing, especially since there’s also a floor. Until more details are known and we see the system in practice we don’t really know if the total pot will shrink.

  6. thenamestsam says:

    I’m not actually sure this is bad for the Yankees. Sure it makes it difficult for them to flex their financial muscles in building a farm system, but it’s not like they’ve done that too much anyways-I can’t find the rankings now for some reason but I’m pretty sure I remember seeing them more towards the middle of the pack in amateur spending, and with good reason.

    The Yankees should be allocating more of their budget to major league talent because they’re always competing. The teams this really hurts are the teams trying to rebuild. Capping the amount that you can spend internationally or in the draft (which may also happens) harms the teams that most need to spend their money that way, and that’s teams that would rather spend money on future players than current players. I think this hurts the small market teams way more than the big market teams.

    • jjyank says:

      I agree with this, but it definitely hurts everyone. I’m not seeing the logic behind such a cap at all. If the big bad Yankees were spending insane amounts of money every year in the international market, I would get the outrage, but I don’t believe we are outspending everyone like that.

      • Genghis says:

        It means less money all around for international prospects. However, since the Yankees have “infinite money” :), the obvious solution is to take the contract money saved and beef up their scouting. Latin American players are always a huge gamble, and better scouting could provide even more of an advantage with a hard cap in place.

  7. KeithK says:

    This doesn’t make sense/ Of course it makes sense from the standpoint of competitive balance and total cost to owners. The owners don’t want the international market to be a free, unhindered auction because it gives too much power to big revenue teams (like the Yankees) and essentially requires all teams to spend a lot on international signings to compete. If this happens it’s for the same reasons that we have an amateur draft for domestic players.

    Does this hurt the Yankees/ Probably, much the same as the institution of the draft hurt the Yankees back in the day. Hopefully the current management is smart enough to adapt to the new environment.

  8. Jamey says:

    Can’t they pull a Soriano & play in Japan?

  9. YankeesJunkie says:

    This will only hurt the quality of baseball.

  10. Yorker says:

    I wonder if it really will hurt the Yankees much. They generally haven’t been the high bidder on the very highest profile IFA in recent years. They spend a lot, but have not really been in on the mega-prospects that are getting giant bonuses. With other teams being less able to throw around those really big amounts those players may be more in play for the Yankees and intangibles like the Yankee brand may end up being more important in those players decisions.

    • toad says:

      Could be right. It really depends on the details of the cap. Hard to believe it could be on individual contracts. That would really get a strong negative reaction from Latin America, and might be easy to evade regardless.

  11. mike says:

    This might actually be good for the Yanks…alot of times we have those teams helped by revenue sharing make big moves in the international FA market, and this should bring that back into line. the less they can spend internationally, the more pressure they will be under to spend on the ML roster and likely force them into compromises elsewhere on their roster.

    plus if it folds ome international guys into the draft, the Yanks might actually get better talent

  12. Chip says:

    I think the one thing everybody is missing is this really is going to make the draft much more important. After 20 years of this hard cap, much of the talent is going to start drying up in some of these countries much like it did in Puerto Rico. That’ll make the amateurs in the US, in comparison, better.

    • thenamestsam says:

      I think they’re planning on putting a cap on the draft too, however.

      • Chip says:

        That’s true but I don’t think that amateurs in America will be affected as much as we are more about chasing the American dream for ourselves instead of just trying to make at least one big payday to set up our families back home.

  13. Mike Myers says:

    It might not be bad. With the hard cap…

    Team A (in middle america) offers you the max $
    Yankees (in awesome new york) offer you the same max

    You pick the yanks every time right?

    • CMP says:

      I agree. In recent years, the Yankees haven’t been cheap with international FAs but they haven’t really signed the highest priced guys like Michael Ynoa, Miguel Sano, Chapman, etc.

      If the money is similar, some of the higher priced guys might end up with the Yankees

      • Chip says:

        If you gave me a choice as an 18 year old kid to make the same money by signing with the Yankees or signing with the Pirates, I’d take the Pirates. There I might make the big leagues by the time I’m in my early 20′s rather than possibly never getting there via the Yankees.

    • pat says:

      Except you’d have a better shot at reaching the majors (and arbitration) earlier with a shitty team.

  14. Mike says:

    I understand the hard cap part, but why should their be a floor with International FA signings? What if there were teams that had no interest in International FA? Unless I’m misunderstanding something, then fill me in.

  15. Rich in NJ says:

    Selig is constructively a small market owner.

  16. Jimmy McNulty says:

    This is pretty dumb. No idea why MLB is limiting amateur spending, next thing we’ll see a salary cap and that’s when I’ll stop watching.

  17. deadrody says:

    What am I missing here ? How is MLB unilaterally writing a new CBA ?

    Isn’t a new CBA subject to negotiation between MLB and the players union ?

  18. CANO FAN #1 says:

    That’s not fear

  19. Billion$Bullpen says:

    Well the Yanks have not used their #1 resource enough on INT players the last few years anyway. I would have been blowing teams out of the water for years but maybe they did not because they feared this would be the outcome. Baseball like the rest of America is not so slowly moving away from true capitalism towards the dark side.

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