The idea of MLB implementing an international draft is the topic of the day in baseball.
It’s actually one of the main points in the talks for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) these days.
Many MLB fans, and even media members weren’t really sure what to think about the idea of replacing the current international free agent signing system with a draft, and that’s perfectly understandable because it involves things we often ignore or miss.
But these last few hours have been very fruitful for fans, who are learning about views on international players, their opportunities, development, and future.
Just fascinating to learn more about the pros and cons and see that people’s opinions don’t usually fall along the usual predictable dividing lines between players, agents, execs, etc.
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) March 9, 2022
The international market is a different world than the MLB draft: it involves different realities and social/economical backgrounds, for example.
A Draft Changes The Dynamics Of The International Market
Chelsea Janes, who has been talking to players, agents, and executives, says that “a draft could potentially throw young players into unfamiliar circumstances even more than when they get to decide which franchise to join. Then again, (it’s) fair to ask how much “choice” teenagers really have relative to those that make these deals on their behalf. Obviously that’s only one aspect of the many considerations in play.”
MLB, in the end, is looking to control some of the things happening in the international market.
Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com notes that “Latin American players as young as 12-14 years old have been known to make verbal commitments to clubs, even though they are not eligible to sign until they are 16. The pressure to impress at a young age has led to increased use of performance-enhancing drugs. And with no leverage to walk away from an offer and attend college, players often sell themselves short in order to lock in a commitment.”
It’s a complex issue, and players are said to be debating it internally.NEXT: Fernando Tatis Jr. Has A Strong Take On MLB International Draft