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Nationals president says draft pick signing setup is "silly"

Aug 17, 2010, 12:18 PM EDT

Shortly after celebrating the signing of No. 1 pick Bryce Harper by hitting general manager Mike Rizzo in the face with a whipped cream pie, Nationals president Stan Kasten “reiterated his contempt for baseball’s current system for signing draft choices.”
Right now the majority of top picks wait until the last moment to sign, costing themselves development time and creating a logjam of mostly inevitable announcements like we saw before yesterday’s midnight deadline.
Kasten told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he expects the system to change as part of the next collective bargaining agreement, calling it “silly to think the industry operates this way.”
Here’s more from Kasten:

There’s no reason for it. And the worst part? The worst part is we’ve now institutionalized taking young talent at their prime development age, and now we say, “Go sit on the shelf for this season.” That’s the worst thing of all. It doesn’t help the talent. It doesn’t help the teams. If nothing else, that law needs to be fixed.

Exactly. Players are drafted in June and then most end up signing within a few hours of each other before a midnight deadline in mid-August, giving them several months to essentially do nothing and leaving them little room to make a pro debut in the current season.

  1. josh - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    That is true for some of the the top line talent that will definitely sign. Most of the singees are not definite signees, however, and they play in summer leagues. Its dumb, and its inefficient, but its not probably that big a deal.

  2. geoknows - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    And to make matters worse, some contracts are worked out much earlier than deadline day, only to sit on King Bud’s desk for weeks, just because he wants to punish teams who negotiate over-recommended-slot deals.

  3. BC - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    So move the signing deadline up to July 15 then. Simple enough.

  4. Philip P - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    This also where having one or two owners like Mark Cuban would be good as he would more likley pull the trigger much earlier and get a contract done if he has drafted a top notch player.

  5. Old Gator - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Feh. Sell all the little bastards for ethanol and go virtual.

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