At Pirates Prospects, we’ve been following with keen interest the developing storyline of a true international draft. As per this link from MLB Trade Rumors (through a Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweet), it states that all of the pieces for a 2013 draft are not in place by the self-imposed deadline that just passed.
However, the piece goes on to state that 2014 is the goal at this point, as the owners want an international draft in place as soon as possible. Whether or not this is an international draft of all 16 year olds or a draft that also includes Cuban and Asian free agents, remains to be seen. In the recent piece done by Pirates Prospects, President Frank Coonelly was certainly pushing for an all-encompassing draft that included 16-year old Latinos, Cubans, Asians, and all other internationals in the same draft pool.
With the implementation of the uniform $2.9 M bonus pool for all international signings, starting this July 2nd, it certainly appears as if the owners want cost certainty in the international signing market. The international draft will further extrapolate that concept by using draft bonus slots, similar to what the upcoming Rule 4 draft has implemented this year under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.