Comments on: Point-Counterpoint on the Potential for an International Draft Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Fri, 14 Nov 2014 13:25:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Anonymous Wed, 28 Sep 2011 16:48:00 +0000 In my opening salvo I mentioned Asian players being eligible as well.  Most of the attention, naturally, is on the Latinos, but Asians would be eligible under my scenario at 16 too.

Note that I say “eligible”.  There may be scenarios where a player from South Korea isn’t that great at 16, goes undrafted and unsigned, and then is worthy at age 17.

A truly international draft could be done within 5 years if MLB made the committment financially to it.

By: Anonymous Wed, 28 Sep 2011 04:10:00 +0000 Kevin,
I have to ask there is a lot of talk about how this would affect Latin American prospects but what about Japan. From what I can tell they are a different situation from the Latin American players, would they be eligible for the draft?

By: Anonymous Tue, 27 Sep 2011 16:25:00 +0000 With all due respect to Wilbur (whose work I love to read) I disagree with his assessment.

MLB has the authority to decide how players can enter their system. If they require players to attend an academy they will be able to solve all the other issues presented. The age investigations will begin at an earlier age, or the player won’t be eligible for the draft. Players who don’t want to go to an academy have made a life choice – they don’t want to play MLB.

The added benefits are being overlooked. This will ensure a level playing field for all teams, not just the big market teams or the small market teams who make this area a priority. You can bet if the current system stays in place the Pirates will have to make tough choices on competing or replenishing the farm – most markets are in the same position. With an international draft this issue is lessened because there will be less money going to the players in the draft.

A second benefit would be the level of education the players would receive at these academies. It is no secret in the Latin America the level of education is as low as it gets. Even if they didn’t make it as players the academies would have given these players a higher quality of education than most of their education options today. Right now these players are being exploited. Some make a good buck, but a quality education and support will do more for most than the small bonuses they receive.

By: Anonymous Mon, 26 Sep 2011 16:27:00 +0000 Wilbur, you nailed it…The ONLY reason Selig wants a draft is because the owners want to stop paying out big bonuses to the players in the international pool. Does anyone really think that if a draft was set up with a slotting system that the “slotted” bonuses would be comparable to the “recommended” bonus slots for the NA draft? I really don’t see MLB endorsing a $8.5 million bonus to a kid from Venezuela, where $8,500 would change his entire family’s way of life. Therefore it wouldn’t be “fair” in that regard alone. Why is ok to pay Gerrit Cole $8.5 million but lets say Juan Valdez goes 1st overall in the international draft, he only gets $1 million? I understand that international kids are able to enter FA at the age of 16 and it is harder to project a 16 yr old then an 18 yr old. But, that brings us to another problem….That would open a door that NA kids would want to be draft eligible at the age of 16. Which would make MLB have to readopt the “draft and follow” system of before. Fair is fair after al no matter if you are in Kansas or Curacao……

By: Anonymous Mon, 26 Sep 2011 15:18:00 +0000 I’m with Wilbur on this matter. It would be impossible and probably illegal to construct a universal international draft mechanism that treated players fairly.

And, to be sure, the sizes of the bonuses given to international free agents ARE NOT A PROBLEM AT ALL. The compelling problems are the PEDs taken by some prospects, the near human trafficking practiced by the buscones, the corruption of some MLB executives, etc. Seligula runs a rigged game (MLB) and I doubt that he would recognize let alone support “fair” if he saw it. He just wants to reduce the money paid into the current system as it now exists, money which elevates some kids and their families into a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.