MLB, MLBPA Talking Worldwide Draft

TUESDAY: MLB is willing to make "significant concessions" to the MLBPA in order to implement a worldwide draft, sources tell ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (Twitter links). The players could obtain an increase in minimum salary, have a lower service time threshold for arbitration eligibility and more, Olney writes.

MONDAY, 1:26pm: Rob Manfred, MLB's executive VP, said there's a chance of a deal by June 1st, Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal reports (on Twitter). The most likely outcomes are a single global draft or the current draft plus a second draft for international players, Mullen reports.

10:37am: Major League Baseball could have a worldwide draft in place sooner, rather than later. MLB and the MLB Players Association are pushing to strike a deal for a worldwide draft by June 1st, Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal reports (Twitter links). 

If the sides don’t reach a deal then expanded international spending restrictions will take effect. The possibility of increased international spending restrictions exists to encourage talks about a worldwide draft.

Amateur players from the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico are now eligible for baseball’s Rule 4 draft, which takes place each June. Instituted in 1965, the draft does not apply to international players. Instead, amateur players from countries such as Venezuela and the Dominican Republic negotiate bonuses with teams. 

Baseball’s most recent collective bargaining agreement introduced major rule changes designed to restrict international spending.  For example, teams had $2.9MM to spend for the 2012-13 signing period. Though MLB and the MLBPA announced the five-year Basic Agreement just over a year ago, the sides acknowledged from the beginning that talks for a worldwide draft could take place before the expiration of the CBA.

Commissioner Bud Selig has consistently expressed public support for the worldwide draft. The implementation of a worldwide draft has the potential to limit expenses for the owners without presenting a direct threat to the earning potential of MLBPA members.


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