International draft not needed if MLB plays by their rules

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: A detailed view of a Rawlings official Major League Baseball sitting on top of the dugout behind the protective netting during the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 17, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. The Indians defeated the Tigers 10-3. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 17: A detailed view of a Rawlings official Major League Baseball sitting on top of the dugout behind the protective netting during the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 17, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. The Indians defeated the Tigers 10-3. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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The possibility of an international draft has once again come to the forefront. Major League Baseball had inserted the draft in their most recent CBA proposal, derailing any momentum towards a deal. Despite those antics, this is something that MLB needs to address.

There is no question that the international free agency process can be fraught with peril. The players, especially those defecting from Cuba, as they look to establish residency elsewhere. Yasiel Puig detailed the story of how he was smuggled out of the island nation and held at gunpoint. Sadly, that type of tale is all too common.

MLB needs to play by their rules with international prospects

The agents and those looking to take advantage of those young players are not the only sleazy element to the process. There are notable cases of major league teams and front offices violating the league’s own rules when it comes to players. Former Nationals general manager Jim Bowden resigned amidst a federal investigation into skimming the signing bonus of international players. Former Braves GM John Coppolella was handed a lifetime ban due to multiple violations of league policy with international free agents, and 13 players signed illegally were removed from the organization.

light. Related Story. What is the impact of the international draft?

In theory, the league has rules in place when it comes to international prospects. Teams are not supposed to talk to players until the point in time when they become eligible, which is when they turn 16 years old. However, that is not always the case. While it makes sense for teams to scout prospects when they are younger, it is not uncommon for discussions regarding bonuses to take place as well.

It is a secret that is out in the open. When MLB.com publishes their list of the top 30 international prospects for a signing period, they include a list of the teams that the player is linked to. Even players that have yet to turn 16 years old will have that tagline saying “expected to sign with (insert team here).” How would they know if those discussions, and promises, had not already taken place?

As Francisco Lindor noted, the narrative around the international draft ignores the corruption involved in the current process, which includes the various MLB franchises. It also speaks volumes that the vast majority of players from Latin American countries do not want the draft to happen as they feel it would kill baseball in places such as the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

There are going to be problems no matter what the league and MLBPA agree to. As it is, they agreed to work until July 25 on an international draft and remove that from CBA negotiations. In the end, what should matter is the opinion of those who would be affected by such a move – the players in Latin America. If they are opposed to a draft, then it should not take place. Maybe then, the league will actually enforce their own rules uniformly instead of selectively.

Next. Time for MLB to lose antitrust exemption status. dark

MLB wants to institute an international draft. If they paid attention to their own rules and ended their corruption, it would not be needed.