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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

MLB Union ready on international draft but for more money

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – Major League Baseball players said Friday for the first time that they are ready to accept a draft of international amateur players, but proposed that it involves far more money and a more liberal structure than management plans.

The union made this proposal during a meeting with MLB on Friday. The details were disclosed by a union official, who spoke to the media on condition of anonymity as no announcement by name was authorized.

The union proposed that $260 million be allocated to a draft for the 2024 signing period, in which teams are guaranteed slot values ​​while having the flexibility to exceed them within the bonus pool, a person familiar with the plan told the Associated Press. Told. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details were not announced.

MLB proposed last July 28 that the 2024 draft includes $181 million for the top 600 players and a total of $190 million, up from $166 million over the 2021 signing period. MLB’s proposal included hard slots, which would allocate $2,625,000 for the top pick to $5,512,500 for 10th place overall for 2024.

The March 10 agreement ending the 99-day lockdown set a July 25 deadline for the union to agree on the draft. Without an agreement, the direct draft-pick compensation and qualifying offer system for major league free agents would remain in place. That structure has disrupted the market for some players, such as pitchers Dallas Ketchell and Craig Kimbrel in 2019.

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Management has long sought an international draft for residents of the US and Canada to reflect the amateur draft that began in 1965 and gives teams exclusive rights to players. Since 1990, the draft has included residents of US territories such as Puerto Rico.

The union said it would agree to management’s 20-round concept but would split the money between slots differently. The Players would schedule the 2024 draft for late 2023, while MLB proposed holding it in the January-to-March range.

MLB has stated that a draft with hard slots will reduce corruption in the international signing market, such as agreements before a player is eligible to sign. MLB gives teams the ability to move up from slots, will allow the continuation of corruption, with teams offering players a specified amount of money prior to selection in exchange for players not appearing in the showcase or cooperating with other clubs. Is.

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MLB and the players banned international signings with the 2012–16 Collective Bargaining Agreement, but the union has resisted establishing a draft to replace the signing bonus pool that allows the flexibility to exceed the threshold while penalizing. allows.

International amateurs are eligible to sign if they are 17 or at least 16 years old, but will turn 17 by 1 September of the first season covered by the contract.

Residents of the US and Canada are eligible for the amateur draft if their high school class has been graduated and the player will be at least 17 years old within 45 days of the end of the draft. In addition, players enrolled in four-year colleges are not eligible until the end of their junior year.

Foreign professionals such as Japanese major league stalwarts will not be included in the international draft. MLB defines a foreign professional as a player aged 25 or older who has played at least six seasons in a recognized foreign league.

Issues in the draft will showcase, and participate in, medical and drug testing. The union claims that MLB is seeking more stringent rules for international amateurs.

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