A Bunch Of Random Draft Impact CBA Thoughts

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Happy Thanksgiving eve… I thought I would produce some random thoughts on the new CBA MLB Draft style.

While, there is a lot of information to actually take in there are some interesting little snippet and I think overall it’s not as bad of a thing as it’s painted right now.

I know Keith Law called it a “net loss” for Baseball but I honestly don’t take it as being that bad. There certainly are some things that, I think, we all collectively (as fans) groan about and as an individual with a specific interest in the MLB Draft there are a few things that I would have rather they not “mess” with.

Just FYI… you can get all the available details off ESPN.

  • First of all I love the idea that the Draft could potentially be moved back after the college baseball season towards the end of June. I really don’t like how it seemingly interferes with the last couple of weeks of the College World Series. It’s not a huge deal, but its always bugged me just a bit and I like that they are leaving it open. That said no such move has been announced it only lays ground work and makes that option available. I just hope that it’s something that continues to be pushed.
  • I love, love, love the idea of signing day taking place before the All-Star break. I get so tired of all the waiting, positioning and posturing. This is going to make things so much better all the way around the sport and it’s guys into organizations faster. Not necessarily on the field faster but in the organization and that’s an important thing. I get that it’s going to cut into the AFL. You know what I’m alright with that. What do we hear over and over form prospect analyst about the AFL? It doesn’t mean much… so whats the point in having it? I think a lot of guys would be better off taking a short breaks before going off to Winter Ball overseas or conducting specific organization instructs.
  • That brings up another thing. Take Dustin Ackley for example. That guy worked year round his first year in the organization with the announcement that he would be moving to Second Base. But, had he already have experience at the position he would have likely gone overseas either to Australia or Venezuela for Winter ball. This is an important thing. I realize that Venezuela is a dangerous place and that there are issues with security (ala Wilson Ramos) that need to be handled but here is the thing. It’s an important part of growing the international game. Teams should be sending more and more prospects down there rather than shying away from it. Basically I’m talking about replacing the AFL. I know, I know… I’m crazy. I just don’t really see how it’s better than sending them down south or across the water. I’m sure I could be corrected on this perspective and I’m not firm on this position. It’s just my take away after the recent AFL.
  • Okay as for the spending/cap restrictions. Jim Callis take it away.

"When Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced a new five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement today, including several changes to the draft, reaction from club executives and player agents was as swift as a Justin Verlander fastball. Most contacted by Baseball America or quoted elsewhere believed new penalties for exceeding bonus recommendations were so harsh that they would drastically alter the landscape of the draft.That may not be the case. Until we learn exactly what those recommendations are, it’s impossible to make an accurate judgment."

Thank you for being the voice of reason.

  • Now that being said any bonus that exceeds $100k goes against that cap. This is something that I haven’t heard too many people complain about but it kind of bugs me. The average 11th round pick signed for somewhere around $250k, the 12th round pick was about $200k and 13th round pick was about $175k. This doesn’t seem like much but those deals could stack up and potentially could hurt clubs depending on how drastic the cap is. It’s smart but it’s annoying.
  • I get all the sky is falling talk about the draft and how the bonuses could discourage many two-sport athletes from picking baseball. That is a completely valid concern. But, let me bring it to you this way. Would the Dodgers still sign Zach Lee? Yeah, I believe 100% they still would. The Dodgers spent nearly $8m total on their 2010 draft. Lee signed for a $5.25m dollars bonus. I keep hearing something about a $5m-$12m cap… I don’t know I can’t find it in Keith Law’s article or in any of the Baseball America ones… maybe I’m just crazy. But either way short of being at the very bottom of the spending pool you’re still going to be able to pay that high school two sport athlete if he’s someone that you seriously buy as a legit baseball talent.
  • That said, football’s pool for “making it” is tiny and the NBA pool is even smaller. Short of going to Europe or playing on a practice squad for a couple of years those fringe guys aren’t going to make hardly any money. Minor Leaguers? Well a long with the CBA they included a pay raise for those guys too. It will go from $67k last year $78k this year,then $80k in ’13 and 81.5k in ’14. I get that minor leagues in the past haven’t made much money but that’s a good size jump in pay and better than anything your going to get for being a fringe player in Europe (where salaries float between $45k – less than a million) NBA D-Leaguers get paid in the range of 25-70k a year, but I haven’t been able to nail down a firm number. Practice squad members are based on a weekly wage that floats around 5k for what I could find. Potentially that could pay them around 80 grand for the entire season, if they are on the squad the whole season, which of course isn’t a guarantee. Bottom line if players want to make money Baseball is still where it’s at and they are still going to get paid.
  • I love that there are going to be no more major league contracts handed out at the draft. That was stupid and always was a silent concern of mine. It never really bothered me when the M’s did it because both Ackley and Hultzen were both extremely polished but… there were other teams that did it that left me scratching my head.
  • Drat lottery pool. Okay, that’s a weird one. Especially since they do it the day of the draft based upon the wording of the document. Basically if you haven’t heard about this the top 10 smallest revenue teams and the top 10 smallest markets are put into a lottery for one of 6 additional draft picks at the end of the first round. Basically Baseball welfare as Keith Law put it. What is kind of cool is that there is the potential for clubs to trade those picks to other teams. This could make for an even more exciting draft day.
  • It’s important and relevant to remind people that the international pool and the draft pool are two different caps and two different pools of money. So while I’m not in favor of either cap penalties I just don’t think it’s going to kill anyone.
  • Final thought: Here is the thing that I will agree with everyone the penalties for exceeding (either caps … international or draft) are dramatic, excessive and more than unnecessary. That said, I see how Major League Baseball could potentially view the cap. It’s an effort to keep teams like Boston and even the Yankees from dominating the draft. Sure they are still going to have money but they are going to pick and choose where they spend it rather than using it to buy out college commitments in late rounds on first round talent that was bypassed due to signing demands, which Boston has done in the past. Unfortunately I see where it could certainly hurt the Rays equally and that in my opinion makes this a wash. At this point in time I see just as many good things (if not more) than bad. Though, I reserve the right to change my mind as smarter minds than mine point things out. I very much look forward to seeing how it all plays out in June.
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