MLB, MLBPA To Talk International Acquisitions

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced that they formed a committee to discuss the development and acquisition of international players. Sandy Alderson of the Mets, Andrew Friedman of the Rays and Kim Ng of MLB join MLB executive VP Rob Manfred, while Tony Clark, Stan Javier and Rick Shapiro of the MLBPA join Michael Weiner, the association’s executive director. The committee will meet by January 15, 2012, according to the recent collective bargaining agreement. 

Here’s a summary of the primary issues the committee will consider:

  • How to proceed should MLB decide to implement an international draft. International players could be included in the current amateur draft or selected in a separate draft (or drafts).
  • Which players from Puerto Rico would remain eligible for the Rule 4 draft if MLB implements multiple drafts.
  • The age at which it’s appropriate to sign international amateurs to professional deals.
  • Ways of revising the agreement between MLB and the Mexican League to provide players with an smoother path to MLB. 
  • Ways of revising agreements between MLB and the Korean Baseball League, the Japanese Baseball League and the Taiwan R.O.C. League to accommodate a draft.
  • Development opportunities for undrafted and unsigned players in Latin America. New leagues and/or teams are possible in Latin America.
  • Regulations for representation of international amateurs (for example, the role of so-called independent trainers). 
  • Possible safeguards for international bonuses.
  • How to treat amateur Cuban players given the legal and political landscape.
  • Country-by-country plans for development of players who aren’t yet draft eligible. 
  • Education and acculturation programs at teams’ international academies.

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