Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are discussing implementing a worldwide draft by June 1, according to Eric Fisher of the SportsBusiness Journal.
Fisher tweeted on Monday:
In SBJ, MLB and MLBPA pushing to strike deal for worldwide draft by June 1. If no deal by then, expanded intl spending restrictions kick in— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) March 18, 2013
The auto trigger for tighter MLB spending restrictions on intl amateurs described as a "poison pill" designed to spur along worldwide draft— Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) March 18, 2013
The effort is basically designed to encourage international players to come to the United States to play ball. It comes in the wake of a system that discourages MLB clubs from spending a lot of money on amateur players.
Mike Axisa of CBS Sports discusses that the new collective bargaining agreement assigns a "signing pool" to MLB clubs, meaning they have a cap on how much they can spend on international players. It not only protects the owners from spending large sums of money on players outside of the U.S., but it also protects some MLB players from losing their jobs to overseas signings.
Will this make a big difference for MLB in terms of attracting more international talent?
In that sense, the recent discussions to implement a worldwide draft are essentially taking place because MLB doesn't want to spend a lot of money on international players but wants to encourage such players to come to the United States and play baseball if they so desire.
There are concerns that some amateur players are straying from the MLB because they simply aren't getting paid what they used to under the old system, per Axisa.
The worldwide draft gives clubs the chance to woo these players in hopes of alleviating their concerns about the amount of money they will make. Those individuals who want to play in the most competitive league in the world may make concessions as far as how much they demand.
Cuba's Jose Dariel Abreu is a prime example of a coveted international player MLB would like to coax into coming to the United States. The powerful slugger hit .382 with 13 home runs in just 136 at-bats in Cuba's National Series this season, per BaseballdeCuba.com.
The 26-year-old also played well for Cuba in the World Baseball Classic, hitting .360 with three home runs, nine RBI and six runs in six games (25 at-bats), via WorldBaseballClassic.com.
It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. If a worldwide draft is produced, will it legitimately help MLB to add more international talent? That's still a matter of debate.