Update: MLB & MLBPA hoping to implement worldwide draft by June 1st

Open Thread: 3/19 Camp Notes
Dominican Republic wins 2013 WBC, Cano named MVP

Tuesday: Buster Olney says MLB is willing to give up “significant concessions” to the union to make a worldwide draft happen. That could mean increasing the minimum salary, requiring less service time for arbitration eligibility, stuff like that. I don’t understand why the owners want this so bad.

Monday: Via Eric Fisher: MLB and the players’ union are hoping to strike a deal for a worldwide draft by June 1st of this year. If that doesn’t happen, the international spending pools implemented by the Collective Bargaining Agreement will kick in for the summer. (h/t MLBTR)

Fisher describes the spending limits as a “poison pill” designed to push the idea of a worldwide draft. The logistics are pretty nightmarish, but hey, MLB has a wonderful track record when it comes to well thought out and not at all half-assed plans to fix issues that aren’t broken. Anything to stop investing money into the future of baseball, I guess.

Open Thread: 3/19 Camp Notes
Dominican Republic wins 2013 WBC, Cano named MVP
  • trr

    It doesn’t seem to affect the player’s union, so they don’t give a damn, and since this will save the owners from spending money, well….

    • Brian in MA (formerly NH)

      The players union is full of guys who probably would like to protect what opportunity they had for their countrymen and future players. Baseball is crazy popular in the DR, and its the quickest ticket off the island. If this happens, it will likely do to other countries what happened to Puerto Rico. Baseball was crazy popular there too, but as it because harder to get your golden ticket off the island, less kids played it.

      • Laz

        Puerto Rico is quite a bit wealthier than many of the other large islands in the caribbean.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    I guess a draft doesn’t screw the Yankees any more than the current system with spending limits does though I wonder how long before baseball loses some of it’s appeal in the Caribbean and Latin America like it has in Puerto Rico.

    Talk about penny wise, dollar foolish. Saving money on these kids in the short run is gonna end up fucking the sport in the long run.

    • Gonzo

      It’s rough, but I think this might actually help the Yankees. How about the Rays? They were supposed to be punished this year in IFA. If this goes into effect, what would happen to them? I guess they would get off scot-free.

      • Laz

        With a spending limit as it is premier teams like the yankees can offer the same amount of money, while having a good reputation. With a draft the teams that are bad every year will have the advantage.

        • Gonzo

          My point is that relative to the current draft plus IFA budget constraints, the international draft might be better for the Yankees.

          • Rick

            I’m nearly certain, slight possibility that I could be wrong, that MLB doesn’t approve a rule change based on whether it will screw the Yankees. The issues run much deeper than that. Well actually not that deep, just financially based.

            • Gonzo

              Absolutely. I just think this rule change might help the Yankees.

  • Charles

    If they’re going to make a worldwide draft they need to relook the ridiculous spending limits and consequences for going over slot/pool in the draft.

    I don’t get why they’re so invested in limiting the appeal of Baseball to amateur prospects, if they have to go through all this trouble instead of getting registered for the draft then negotiating with the team at a set slot instead of just signing for X amount out of their winter league, they could head to different sports.

    • Brian in MA (formerly NH)

      I agree here, re-think those spending limits. It will never get like it was in football anyway where the rookies were getting paid more than veterans when they got drafted, simply because its practically impossible to be an impact player when your first drafted in baseball.

  • LK

    I have little doubt that this will be implemented, and even less doubt that it will be a negative factor in the future of baseball.

    • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

      And I have even less doubt that after they hurry it through without careful planning, it will leave far more questions and problems in its wake. This seems to be MLB’s problem under Bud Selig. Jump first, then check to see if there’s water in the pool.

  • KeithK

    Isn’t broken? Having a world wide draft is a no brainer that should have been implemented years ago. If you’re going to have a draft at all it makes no sense to exempt a third of the talent pool from it. That’s no way to ensure competitive balance, which is the whole point of the draft.

    • Bob Buttons

      Actually, digging like hell to find cheap international talents is much more affordable than paying millions in free agency. Also, implementing a world draft won’t sit well with Korea, Japan, etc. Most importantly, it drives youngsters away from baseball because for all they know they have to work for years in a foreign land surrounded by a foreign language and they might not earn anything tangible, wasting years of their youth and vitality.

    • Brian in MA (formerly NH)

      There will probably be some sort of exemption for professional players in other countries, like Japan and Korea.

      The problem is, in the US and Canada, the kids have much more opportunity and better development programs, they are very privileged. kids from DR, Venezuela, Panama, etc, don’t have those same opportunities. Part of me says it should be fair for all kids, but its already not fair based on the fact that most of the international kids are so poor.

      what really concerns me more is, this hurt the yankees even more than they already are. Why invest in development acadamies in DR when there is no certainty you’ll be able to retain that kid? The development acadamies are sponsored by teams and are like recruiting tools as well as training facilities. Also, this means the draft will be like 100 rounds

      • Laz

        And there is the problem. We are going to expect teams to have good knowledge about every player?

  • Bo Knows

    If they get rid of the spending limits, and allow foreign born 16 year olds to enter the draft then I will have no problem with the draft but they will also need to figure out what to do about any kids that pop might pop up that weren’t drafted that year. There are so many variables, I don’t understand how it’ll work, more power to them if they can figure it out (I doubt Selig will, because I have doubts he knows how to wipe his own behind let alone will figure this out in any sense that doesn’t harm the game)

  • KD

    The whole system is broken. For every Pedro who goes from sitting under a mango tree to being worth more than the entire village where he grew up, there must be hundreds of foreign kids who are brought to the US and never make it past double A. What happens to them? Who’s paying that bill? It’s sort of like baseball’s stadium scam writ small. MLB gets the upside for major league players who make it and help build the sport, but the washouts are left to their own devices and the rest of us to pay for. I’m sure some of these guys just start software companies or head home to join the family business, but I’d guess that there must be a few of these poorly educated professional baseball players who just don’t have a lot to offer when they’re out of baseball and then they’re societies problem, not MLB’s.

    • Greg

      Well that sounded racist.

  • Barry

    There’s no way this will ever be fair. First of all how do you compare a raw international player who’s seen limited amounts, if any, true organized ball to a player who’s been playing in organized ball since he was 6. It’s not fucking broke, don’t fucking fix it.

    • Rick

      How is this an issue of fairness? People make those raw international player comparisons all of the time. I don’t think it’s much different than a kid drafted in the 30th round from a junior college in the southern tip of Arkansas that has 17 students, but one stud player whose biggest competition was St. Mary’s School of the blind. So he throws a perfect game against a bunch of kids who can’t see and the scouts have to wonder whether it was the stuff or the inferior competition that lead to the game of his life. But yes, it’s unfair to have to trust your international scouting department (which every team has) on whether to draft Pedro over Peter in round 2. It’s really not an issue of fairness at all.

  • RetroRob (Live from Amsterdam)

    Is the worldwide draft in addition to the June amateur draft, or will they be integrated into one single draft? Hopefully the former, because the latter will be logistically a problem

  • Fin

    Its baseball. Every team has a little fiefdom. They dont look long term or whats good for the game. They do whats good for the Fiefdoms at the time.

  • MannyGeee

    I am curious to see how the league thinks they could get infrastructure for an international draft together in a few months when they can barely get a handle on some of the core concepts of IFA, like making sure David Ortiz is actually 37 and ensuring that Leo Núñez is actually a person.

    Again, seems like a real money grab when there are bigger fish to fry in the game.

  • http://www.twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    While it seems pretty inarguable that starting an international draft will probably hurt the enthusiasm younger athletes have for baseball in some countries (thus, probably, hurting the talent pool), and I don’t like the idea of the draft (nor spending caps) because they hurt the Yankees and I’m a Yankees fan, I’m also kind of failing to see how this is any different than the U.S. amateur draft. I mean, there was a time when there was no draft in the U.S. also, right? And teams went out and found the best players and signed them, until they started the draft and things changed? So how is it any different this time around?

    None of this is to say that I think they have to start an international draft or anything, but I also think some of the arguments against it are misplaced. Argue against the very concept of the draft if you’d like, but to argue that MLB should have a draft for one group of players and should not have a draft for another group of players seems pretty arbitrary to me. I don’t want them to start an international draft, but if the institution has decided (and it has) that the draft structure is the best way to bring amateur talent into the league (for competitive balance, or whatever other reason), then I think it’s pretty reasonable to apply that concept to all of the amateur players.

    All that being said, I’ve put about 2.4 minutes of thought into this, I could easily be convinced otherwise.

    • Bob Buttons

      IFA they have to work for years in a foreign land surrounded by a foreign language and they might not earn anything tangible, wasting years of their youth and vitality.

      Canadians and Americans, at least they don’t have to deal with the foreign land and language part.

      Is that fair?

      • KeithK

        People keep saying things like “wasting years of youth and vitality”. Versus what exactly? Yes, that poor Dominican kid could stay in the DR and preserve his youth and vitality… and be a poor, possibly out of work kid in the DR. Instead he signs with a baseball team, gets at least a small bonus (which even if it’s a few K is a nice chunk of change) and gets to work for a few years making a steady wage playing a sport he probably likes. Now from what I’ve read the life of a minor leaguer is no picnic but it’s not exactly cruel and unusual punishment either. If he washes out at 22 he’s not really in any worse shape than he would have been and in fact might have had the opportunity to gain some useful life skills in the process.

        • Bob Buttons

          1) Poor jobless kid with his family could still be happier than confused lost kid without his family. I’ve had some friends who are international students and you seem to not have the slightest idea of how homesickness can affect one’s stress level, and many other things.

          2) “steady wage” could be far stretch. Not sure who it was but there were some major leaguers who admitted to having second jobs or off-season jobs when they were in the minors (or independent ball). The ML minimum don’t apply. Also, Sean Burroughs, a former 1st round pick, had times where he had to eat from the garbage can. Not saying that he spent his money wisely, but I don’t think IFA kids are professors in economics either.

          3) Useful life skills? Like what? Enough language skills to get a dead-end job? How to act macho with a bunch of guys? He may not have had education if he stayed within the foreign land, but I highly doubt that he’d try to get some education once he’s in the states.

          I’m not saying that you are wrong or I am right but there are some things I’m not seeing here.

          • JMK

            I don’t think Burroughs’s reasons for eating out of the garbage were financial-based. The articles I read described him as a paranoid drug addict at the time.

            • Bob Buttons

              If I understood the wording correctly he blew most of his money so he had to eat out of the garbage. Seen the drugs mentioned somewhere but not this column.


              Burroughs said. “It was just a year ago I was eating cheeseburgers out of garbage cans and living in Motel 6. I’d be shuffling around from hotel to hotel. On the streets until 4 in the morning.

              • Bob Buttons

                Errm misrememberd, that article was also the drug article.

          • Manny’s BanWagon

            Sean Burroughs eating out of thr garbage has nothing to do with the wages paid to minor leaguer rather it’s because he was a degenerate drug addict. His dad was a major leaguer for god sake.

            Besides, don’t most minor league teams have a post game spread for their players? I hardly think most minor leaguers are going to bed hungry.

            • Bob Buttons

              I think you’ve missed my main point.

              Minor leaguers flame out, at a very high rate. Can’t remember which site but someone did a study and the rates are MUCH higher than you expect. Even first round draft pick money won’t cover your ass if you end up spending it in unwise ways, including but not exclusively substance abuse. The small-ass bonus given to beyond 10th round (100k) really isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things.

        • LeftyLarry

          He’s way ahead of any kid who didn’t get a contract and get off the Island even if he is washed up at 22.
          Maybe MLB should make sure kid gets into Princeton.
          It’ a big enough advantage that these kids get there at 16 and play baseball all day while kids here in the States live in cold weather climates and may not get to the minors until 18 or even 19.

  • Barry

    Its a stupid idea. Top to bottom.

  • lou

    I dont think a nations economic situation should play a part on whats right.either eliminate the draft or have everyone enter it,no exceptions

  • jsbrendog

    “I don’t understand why the owners want this so bad.”

    my thought process is so that it will mean being able to draft and fairly pay guys like puig, cespedes et all based on their potential in later roundsd and not be forced to give ML contracts to someone who may be the next igawa or wily mo

  • Rick

    The owners wouldn’t press for it if they weren’t going to make money off of it. By throwing everyone in the worldwide draft they eliminate the additional spending pool allotted for those pics. While nominal in the grand scheme of things, it’s still a couple million in the pockets. Additionally, it obviously increases the talent pool in the draft.

    I’m not sure they’d make concessions in terms of arbitration clocks but I could see a slight increase in the minimum salary. Maybe even a shorter schedule, thus in effect raising their salary as they’re paid more per game. (I think the shorter schedule would actually benefit the owners, less games equals greater ticket demands).

  • pc

    its about the bottom line and stopping the high bonuses paid to unproven talent because of bidding against each other, let the talent enter the june draft and compete with those players for the money, this will make some american talent less expensive if they are drafted later as a result of the int players taking the higher positions in the draft, to make an assumption on the merits one way or the other is too hasty for obvious reasons.