MLB and MLBPA Reportedly in Talks to Create Worldwide Draft

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IMarch 18, 2013

FUKUOKA, JAPAN - MARCH 04: Infielder Jose Abreu #79 of Cuba celebrates after scoring a hit grand slam homer in the bottom half of the fifth inning during the World Baseball Classic First Round Group A game between Cuba and China at Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome on March 4, 2013 in Fukuoka, Japan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)
Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

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:

He added:

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. 

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

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

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.


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