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The Viability of an International Draft

The Viability of an International Draft

Last summer, Pirates Prospects had a point-counterpoint piece regarding the possibility of a truly international draft.  Since that time, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement installed a $2.9M cap on international signing bonuses for each of the 30 teams.  Considering that the Pirates spent $2.6M on just Luis Heredia in 2010, you can see how this will greatly crimp the international signing period.  Many teams, such as the Yankees and Rangers, have laid out extravagent expenditures yearly on multiple 16-year olds, so this will definitely change those spending habits.

It is possible that MLB is using the aforementioned $2.9M international spending cap as a precursor to an international draft. This interim step will allow teams to grow accustomed to working with a budget for the international draft, which will then allow the slotting bonuses to take effect.   As we will see next month in the Rule IV draft, MLB is seeking to clamp down on bonus spending in the domestic draft and the...

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