Jan 11, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT
Keith Law is dead-on with his take about what the Aroldis Chapman means for the allegedly necessary international draft:
Returning to Chapman, this deal puts yet another lie to the claim pushed by MLB, among
others, that making the draft a worldwide one is about
maintaining competitive balance. The Reds, playing in one of MLB’s
smallest metropolitan areas, signed the player. The A’s, playing in
perhaps the majors’ worst active stadium, finished second, according to
Buster Olney. Another big-ticket Cuban defector, Noel Arguelles, signed
last month with Kansas City. Max Kepler-Roczynski, the best amateur
player to come out of the emerging baseball markets of Europe, signed
with Minnesota this summer.
The idea that “small-market” teams can’t
afford top amateur talent is and has always been wrong, because the
dollar figures involved for these amateur players are low relative to
the size of even a low-revenue team’s annual baseball operations budget.
Teams like the Reds and A’s are just fine competing for young talent, thank you very much, and don’t need an international draft to help them out. The people who call for such a beast want it not to help the small revenue teams, but to do to the market for top international prospects what has been done for U.S., Canadian and Puerto Rican prospects: kill it.
Stephen Strasburg got $15.1 million and he’s way closer to winning Major League baseball games than Chapman. You think he wouldn’t have made more money without the draft?
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