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Way back in the introduction, we talked about how much better things are now that the signing deadline has been moved up from the middle of August to one month after the draft.
But when you really look at the way things operate now, this system, save for the whole issue of putting a cap on draft spending, is so great for all parties involved.
Just look at what we are talking about today. Instead of harping about which players weren't going to sign, a lot of the top talent taken in the draft last month has already signed and started playing games.
The only first-round pick who hadn't signed by Friday was Phil Bickford with Toronto and we expected that based on news that came out earlier in the week.
Teams get to look at their investments right away to see where they are and can start making plans for where they will go in 2014. More and more players are able to start their first full season in pro ball with a full-season club.
For example, last year's top two picks, Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton, started 2013 in the Midwest League. With the old system, their deals probably wouldn't have been announced until the deadline and prevented them from getting enough playing time to warrant a full-season assignment.
Now, Correa is picking apart the Midwest League and Buxton has been moved up to High-A and looks like the best prospect in baseball. That added experience is invaluable to the development and can greatly escalate the timetable for a prospect to debut.
Fans win because they are able to see all of this talent on the field in person much sooner than before. There was a time when they would have to wait and read reports from the Arizona Fall League or winter leagues to get any information.
Now, they have the luxury of being able to watch them when they come through their town. Mark Appel has been assigned to the Midwest League already and, since that is right in my neck of the woods, I can't wait to go see him play. But under the old system, odds are good he would never have made a stop at Quad Cities on his way to Houston.
If you want to talk the draft, or anything else baseball related, feel free to hit me up on Twitter with questions or comments.