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UPDATE: MLB releases statement, punting international draft until at least 2015

May 31, 2013, 2:07 PM EDT


UPDATE: Here is the official statement from MLB:

“The Office of the Commissioner and the Players Association have discussed various issues regarding international amateur players, including the possibility of an international draft. While both parties discussed an international draft, an agreement was not reached on some of the mechanics and procedures related to such a draft. Thus, an international draft will not be implemented in 2014. The parties intend to continue to discuss international amateur talent issues, and the current system of international talent acquisition as described in the Collective Bargaining Agreement will remain in place at this time.”

12:30 PM: Major League Baseball and the MLBPA have been negotiating the details of a worldwide draft. The deadline to implement such a beast for the 2014 season is tomorrow. June 1. Jeff Passan reports, however, that it’s not happening and the idea will be shelved for another year, kicking the draft into 2015.

Still, given the provision in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that would impose additional restrictions on how much teams can spend on international signings, and given the apparent desire for all parties to have such a draft — at least all parties with a voice at the negotiating table, which does NOT include international amateur players or officials from said countries — it’s going to happen eventually. Just not now, as the logistics were apparently too much to handle by tomorrow’s deadline.

  1. blacksables - May 31, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    It’s possible an international draft might prevent a few kids in the Dominican Republic from becoming a millionaire overnight.

    And while I agree they could use the money, what about the doors this might open to the markets in Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East, Australia and Africa?

    If this those players a chance to drafted, especially in a slot position, how is that bad for anyone?

    International should mean ‘opportunity for the whole world’, not just ‘less money for players from the Caribbean’.

    Why would a three-year trial period be the end of amateur baseball?

    • raybrower - May 31, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      Why would a draft suddenly open doors to other markets? Good players will be signed based on talent the same way good players would be drafted based on talent. Talented players will get their opportunity either way.

      All the Int’l Draft does is give the players less money. That is, literally, the only thing that changes. Owners have to spend less. That’s it. So if you root for rich white guys as opposed to (typically) poor players, then the Int’l Draft is for you.

      • Ben - May 31, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        Logged in to upvote raybrower. The international draft is bullshit. It just funnels money from prospects and amateurs to owners and already-wealthy free agents.

      • paperlions - May 31, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        The only thing is does is take away all of the incentive for teams to invest in academies to develop talent. Now they can develop a guy and have the best chance to sign him…if there is a draft, there is no reason to pay for development if you have only a 1/30 chance of getting the benefit of your investment.

        There are rumors that MLB will step in and fill that gap, with all 30 teams contributing equally to supporting academies…but, based on the level of financial commitment MLB has put into things like replay, I am dubious about their commitment on that front.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 31, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        Poor rich white guy, always the butt of the joke.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 31, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        Filthy, greedy, grease slimed white devils! Off with their heads!


      • heyblueyoustink - May 31, 2013 at 2:57 PM


      • historiophiliac - May 31, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        Pipe down, you dudes.

    • billybawl - May 31, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      I think under the current system, an international player who would otherwise get drafted in, say, round 5-10 of the US draft can sign with a team of his choice for first round or even higher money.

      I assume an international draft would also prevent a Cuban refugee from negotiating like a star free agent, or is that incorrect?

      • gammagammahey - May 31, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        I believe that the Cuba question is one of the things that they would need to iron out, as well as what to do about Japanese players who want to skip playing in NPB and head to North American baseball as an 18-year old. There are specific exemption rules for Cuba and Japan right now where players from those countries don’t count against international signing bonus pools but a draft could change things.

  2. anxovies - May 31, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    I am a little ambivalent on this, the idea of agents taking young kids from their homes and placing them in baseball camps seems somewhat exploitative, but on the other hand, they get 3 square meals a day and an education along with the training (at least in the reputable camps). On the other hand the affected countries could simply enact laws making it illegal for a citizen to sign a major sports contract where a draft was involved.

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