Draft/Int’l Spending Cap Discussed In CBA Talks

A hard slotting system for the amateur draft is no longer the main issue holding up a new collective bargaining agreement, a source tells Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (Twitter link).  Still being discussed, however, are caps on both overall draft spending and for international signings.

Negotiations over the slotting system were thought to be the last obstacle to a new deal between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association.  Bud Selig has been vocal about limiting draft bonuses as a way of ensuring that richer teams don't have an advantage in selecting amateur players, while the MLBPA has been equally adamant about retaining amateur players' ability to negotiate the best possible contracts.  It has been reported by Buster Olney that MLB could yield on this issue since the league doesn't want to enter protracted labor negotiations.

A "draft cap" would have to be quite high for the MLBPA to consider anything that would limit player salaries.  A compromise could be an adjustable cap based on draft order, which Goldstein reports is also being discussed.  Teams with poor records and high first-round choices would have more money to sign their picks, whereas successful teams picking near the bottom of the first round would have a smaller draft cap under which to operate.

SI.com's Melissa Segura reported earlier today that an international signing cap could be in the range of $2-$2.5MM, though it wasn't certain if this total was for all international signings or just for those from the Dominican Republic. 

17 Responses to Draft/Int’l Spending Cap Discussed In CBA Talks Leave a Reply

  1. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    This is the end of high schooler being drafted outside of the 1st round pretty much.

  2. LordD99 4 years ago

    So, Jay, since you want a salary cap, you therefore would be in agreement with a salary floor. The two have to go together.  So if MLB decides to cap the highest team at $150 million, then it would have to institute a salary floor of about $100 million.  So teams that are rebuilding would be forced to increase their team salary from $40 million a year to $100 million, a $60 million increase, meanwhile these incoming, high-priced players will be blocking the development time of the young players.  These teams hoping to rebuild would be forced to take on the bad contracts from other teams just to be in compliance.  John Lackey, here he comes to the KC Royals!  A-Rod, here he comes to the Florida Marlins!  Jason Werth, off to San Diego Padres. The NFL has way more player movement from year to year than MLB because of this.

    And, oh yeah, many teams would be driven to bankruptcy because they couldn’t operate in a salary cap/floor environment because it will remove their payroll flexibility.

    There are so many problems with a salary cap in baseball that it will never happen.  And here’s some news. MLB is more competitve than the other sports, has less player movement, and regularly has lower priced teams in the postseason and the World Series.

    Sorry, but while your idea sounds nice, it’s been shown not to work.  It’s just an excuse owners use to give their fans as to why their teams continually suck, and it’s simply an idea to try and transfer wealth from the players back to the owners. But, yeah, sure, believe in it if you like.

    • setupunchtag 4 years ago

      “John Lackey, here he comes to the KC Royals!  A-Rod, here he comes to the Florida Marlins”

      Oh, I get it: when big markets make stupid overly costly signings in free agency that don’t work out, then small markets should pay for it by having take on their contracts…do you work for Goldman-Sachs?

      I’m for a salary floor, too, if there was a cap–but it would have way more to do with small markets paying for retaining their best players than taking on other’s idiocy and bad, risky investments.

  3. LordD99 4 years ago

    I can’t understand why anyone is in favor of it. Oddly, in some ways the Player’s Union actually cares less about this than many MLB teams do. Why would they care? They don’t represent amateurs and international free agents. From their point of view, if the richer teams can’t spend as much money on the international draft or the amateur draft, that will force them to spend even more money on free agents, driving up player salaries even higher.

    What you’re really saying is you don’t want amateur players to get paid money and you would rather your team’s owner pocket the cash, cash that he has no intention of putting back into player development but instead will use to line his own pockets.

    A cap and/or slot for the international draft will cause teams to back out their development facalities in Latin America because they will lose the competitive advantage they gain from them. The reason more players have come from Latin America, and better players, is because of these development facilities.  Once the advantage of them is gone, they’ll be shut down, and the player development will end, causing Latin America to go the way of Puerto Rico, which once was a signigicant player development powerhouse until it was added into the amateur draft.  Oh, yeah, the prices went down, and the players basically went away.  That will now happen throughout Latin America.  Great idea.  Super way to expand the game and the talent base.

    • Casor_Greener 4 years ago

      WOW, your post is a case study in logical fallacies and jumping to conclusions because I’m not saying anything you say I am.

      If I didn’t want them getting paid, I would be against signing bonuses not caps.

      There is no international draft so I don’t know what you are referencing in the third paragraph.  I don’t know how you go from international caps to shutting down overseas facilities.  If anything the cost of singing international talent would go down and make it more likely that teams would invest in those facilities since they could acquire the talent cheaply.

  4. LordD99 4 years ago

    That’s correct.  MLB is already losing talented players in North America because they are either selecting other sports, or from a very young age they opt to dedicate themselves to other sports believing they can make more money in the NBA, etc.

    One example.  A few years ago the Yankees drafted Austin Jackson in the 8th round.  He was better than an 8th round player, but other teams were sure he was committed to playing basketball at Georgia Tech. The Yankees were able to convince him (read that as gave him money) to play baseball and they paid him much higher money than a normal 8th-rounder, but that was fine because he really wasn’t an 8th rounder.  He was a talented, two-sport athlete heading off to play basketball at college.  Fortunately, the Yankees convinced him otherwise.  Jackson benefited, the Yankees benefited, MLB benefited, and several years later the Tigers benefited by trading for the eventual runner-up for the rookie of the year. 

    With a cap on the draft, Jackson goes off elsewhere. There are plenty of stories like this every year.  MLB will lose talent with a cap which means MLB will lose.  This is such a small portion of every team’s budget that it’s amazing they’re actually considering it.

  5. LordD99 4 years ago

    That’s right.  A cap on the amateur draft would hurt teams like the Rays.

  6. Yankees420 4 years ago

    While it would undoubtedly happen that IFAs would choose the Yankees, Red Sox, Cards, etc. because of their history, some kids would purposely choose a smaller market team because their path to the majors would most likely be shorter.  The only example I can think of is when Hech signed with the Jays instead of the Yankees because he felt he would be out of the minors faster.

    • Not true by the way. They Jays offered the most in a gauranteed contract and if you have not noticed over the last few years, the Jays generally spend quite a lot on IFA as well as the amateur draft.

      • Yankees420 4 years ago

        From March of 2010:
        “Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechevarria is close to signing a $10MM deal with the Blue Jays, writes George King III of the New York Post.  The 19-year-old is close to choosing Toronto over the Yankees because he was leery of Derek Jeter’s
        impending extension which would keep him at short for the foreseeable
        future.  King infers that the Yankees were willing to spend similar
        money to land him.”

        This is what I was going off of.  I had read some other things about him being a Yankee fan and I also remember reading that the Yankees had heavy interest. 

        Also, I just found this too:
        “Hechevarria avoids saying directly that the Blue Jays aren’t the team of
        his teenage dreams, but he lets slip that he “played shortstop for
        Santiago imagining that it was Yankee Stadium.” Nevertheless, Ebro notes
        that Hechevarria turned down an offer from the Yankees in the hopes of
        rising more quickly to prominence in Toronto’s system. The New York Post’s George King II wrote three days ago that the Yankees were likely willing to offer similar money to Toronto, and more recently, the Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliott
        quoted an unnamed executive as saying that “the word in the scouting
        community” was that the Yankees’ offer was larger Toronto’s winning bid
        of $10MM for four years.”

        Both quotes were posts on this site, so I trusted the validity of them. And the second quote is from the day after he signed with the Jays.

        • Patrick J. Fleming 4 years ago

          Signing cuban defectors are completely different.  These guys normally expect to receive a major league contract.  10 mil at 4years then three years of arbitration for a near ready MLB SS is not at all a battle of the riches, Blue Jays had a need and they took someone who was more proven than you average out of highschool 19 year old.

  7. Casor_Greener 4 years ago

    Some players will switch to another sport, no big deal.

    Those who truly love baseball will stay with the game.

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      It’s a big deal because it’s avoidable. There’s no reason for the system to change.

      The only thing that needs to change is the international side of baseball. THAT’S a joke. I’m hopeful an International Draft could get done but if they’re going to cap spending over there, it sounds like it isn’t going to happen.

  8. Casor_Greener 4 years ago

    “The salary caps suck in the other 3 major sports leagues – all it’s done is water down the sport.”

    LOL, don’t let the truth get in the way of your statements bro….

  9. setupunchtag 4 years ago

    I don’t think Selig really understands when he talks about this being a big advantage to the big market teams. Small market teams like the Royals and Pirates have taken advantage of soft slotting in the last several drafts. Were either of those teams tied to a hard slot they wouldn’t have been able to take a number of what are now considered to be highly regarded prospects in revitalized systems. Right now, the current system is helpful to small markets, if they’re willing to take advantage of it.

    Also, all drafts are not created equal. A #3, say in a deep, talented draft may be better than the #1 in the previous year. Why should a very good #3 or whatever one year be paid the same as a lesser #3 in another year?

  10. Patrick J. Fleming 4 years ago

    The Royals have done an amazing job with high profile international signings and over slot draft signings.  It’s all about where the team wants to put their money.  More risk/reward with what the royals are doing but also more efficiency if you have quality scouting eyes.

  11. Patrick J. Fleming 4 years ago

    The over slot payments are the best way for MLB to make sure it has the best athletes in the minor leagues hopefully to be major leagues.  Guys like Bubba starling, two sport star, would probably be playing for nebraska right now, instead he’s sure to be a home town hero in KC because we were able to pay him so high (7.5 mil)

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