MLB has made the news in the last few hours because of its desire to implement an international draft to replace the current amateur free agent signing process.
The Players Association is still discussing the idea internally, as there is some fear it would completely change the way Latin American players operate and do things, starting from the baseball academies for young players.
One of the most prominent voices in MLB as far as players go, David Ortiz, expressed some concerns to ESPN’s Jeff Passan about the idea of an international draft.
In a voice message sent to a group chat that has been widely shared in Dominican baseball circles, David Ortiz, perhaps the most influential baseball voice in the country, came out strongly against the international draft, according to a copy of the message obtained by ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 9, 2022
The recently elected Hall of Famer said that his primary concerns are not about the international draft per se, but the time of its implementation.
The System “Needs Time” To Process Changes, Per Ortiz
“The system in the Dominican is not ready to have a draft next year. The Dominican is not the U.S. You can’t snap a finger and everything lines up to operate the right way. We’ve got a new president who’s trying to improve things. We need to do this slowly. Taking time — that makes more sense. OK, guys, let’s keep up this pace to do it three, four years from now. We sit down with the big-time players. We listen to what they have to say. If we’re going to do it, let’s do it right. Rushing it like this is not right,” he said, over a series of tweets published by Passan.
The league already said its idea is to implement the international draft starting in 2024.
“At the end of the day, I don’t want those kids to be affected by it. I already played baseball. I had a career. I care about the kids being treated right. I understand MLB wants to have control over everything they do, but you’re not going to change the system overnight,” he also said.
It’s clear that MLB’s idea of the international market for young players is already finding some resistance.