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So, the Astros are taking their prospects on trips now

Oct 30, 2013, 2:48 PM EST

Carlos Correa AP

According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggert, the Astros recently brought eight players and six staff members down to the Dominican Republic for a 10-day getaway:

The group spent the 10 days touring the country, with the players working out at the Astros’ Dominican Academy in the mornings, then interacting with the various communities and villages they visited in the afternoons. It was a learning experience, not only for the players from the States, but the Dominican-based players as well.

“There were a lot of things to it,” assistant director of player development Allen Rowin said. “We were trying to get the U.S. players to understand where their Latin brethren are coming from, to see firsthand where the guys come from in the Dominican, to see the complex and understand what they’re doing, and also for them to kind of have a feel for what the Latin guys go through when they come to the States.

The players on the trip were all draft picks from the last three years, including 2012 first overall pick Carlos Correa and a 2013 pick in Brett Booth.

All in all, it seems like a very good experience for the kids and maybe something more teams should do. It also, however, sounds like an extra benefit that prospects should not be entitled to given the strict draft cap rules now employed by Major League Baseball. Now, I highly doubt the Astros were using a trip to the Dominican Republic as a carrot to get Booth to sign with them a few months back. I’m assuming the Astros cleared the trip with MLB as well.

But this is one of the problems with salary caps in general: anything outside the norm that teams do for players needs to be monitored closely to make sure there are no unfair advantages. Just as NBA teams next summer won’t be able to promise LeBron James luxury boxes and such perks, MLB teams have to be limited in what they can do for prospects, given the rules in place.

  1. vanquish0916 - Oct 30, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    I hope they don’t send any of them to Belize

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 30, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      or to Camp Krusty

      • apmn - Oct 30, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        Kamp Krusty…needed more komedy K’s.

  2. jkaflagg - Oct 30, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    I think you are on safe ground regarding Brett Booth; he was a 34th round draft pick as a senior from the University of Alabama…..I doubt the trip was a management carrot designed to get a lower round player with no leverage to sign !

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