The latest twist in the path to a new CBA appears to be MLB’s desire to implement an international draft. A deal between MLB and the MLBPA may, or may not, be imminent, but the international draft is now the major hurdle to clear according to reports.
A pair of MLB superstars, one past, one present, both supplied their perspectives on how the new draft system would affect the prospects in their home country of the Dominican Republic.
Fernando Tatis Jr.: "The International Draft is going to kill baseball in DR. It's going to affect us a lot, because there will be many young people who used to give them the opportunity to get a bonus and with the draft it will not be the same ”, per @ElCaribeRD. pic.twitter.com/KpUm6KEazb
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) March 9, 2022
Newly minted Hall-of-Famer David Ortiz believes that a MLB international draft system could work, but it can’t be a rush job. The league has proposed starting the draft in 2024. ESPN’s Jeff Passan included quotes from Ortiz in his story from Wednesday morning.
“The system in the Dominican [Republic] 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.”
Ortiz, like Tatis Jr., reiterated how MLB’s new draft could adversely affect promising Dominican prospects.
“Baseball is such a big thing in the Dominican. Baseball keeps kids off the streets. We don’t want that to walk away from us. We want it to get better…at the end of the day, I don’t want those kids to be affected by it…Dominican has baseball to make your way out. That’s it. You have to be careful.”
The MLBPA might have some soul-searching to do regarding the draft. As Passan points out, about one-third of the players’ union members are from Latin America. Based on Ortiz’s and Tatis Jr.’s reactions, the union agreeing to MLB’s international draft might be a bridge too far at the moment.
The new system would surely have an affect on the Dodgers. In recent years, LA has been one of the most successful organizations when it comes to drafting, scouting, and developing international prospects. Instituting a draft could mitigate some of the Dodgers advantages the Dodgers have in the current system.
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