mlb logoMajor League Baseball and the Players Association had until tomorrow to work out the particulars of an international draft for 2014, but it looks like one more day wasn’t going to do it. Today, they announced that there will be no international draft in 2014. Here’s MLB’s statement:

The Office of the Commissioner and the Players Association have discussed various issues regarding international amateur players, including the possibility of an international draft. While both parties discussed an international draft, an agreement was not reached on some of the mechanics and procedures related to such a draft. Thus, an international draft will not be implemented in 2014. The parties intend to continue to discuss international amateur talent issues, and the current system of international talent acquisition as described in the Collective Bargaining Agreement will remain in place at this time.

There were so many moving parts involved in getting a draft together by next year – country labor issues, registration issues, testing issues, financial issues, etc. – that it is, on one level, not surprising that the international draft has been delayed for some amount of time. On the other hand, there’s a sense that an international draft is inevitable, and it seemed like now was the time to get the ball rolling.

So, for now, the bonus pool system will remain in effect, subject to some changes to the penalties.

MLB and the MLBPA planted a poison pill in the CBA ostensibly to ensure that an international draft was implemented by 2014. Since it was not, the poison will now kick in. Essentially, the penalties for exceeding your bonus pool, beginning in 2014, will increase to:

  • A 100% tax on the overage from 0 to 5% (up from 75%)
  • A 100% tax on the overage from 5% to 10% (up from 75%), and the loss of the right to provide any player in the next signing period with a bonus in excess of $500,000
  • A 100% tax on the overage from 10% to 15%, and the loss of the right to provide any player in the next signing period with a bonus in excess of $300,000 (down from $500,000)
  • A 100% tax on the overage from 15% and up, and the loss of the right to provide any player in the next two signing periods with a bonus in excess of $300,000 (previously it was just one bonus period)

As you can see, the sides were supposed to get a deal done. They didn’t, and now you’re punished even more harshly for exceeding your pool.

Arguably, the delay of an international draft is good news for the Cubs, who just opened a state-of-the-art facility in the Dominican Republic. Under a draft, the Cubs’ ability to leverage that facility into signing the top prospects – or finding diamonds in the rough – would be slightly reduced. Slightly.

  • The Dude Abides

    I love diamonds in the rough who you make rich beyond their dreams as a teenager. Money well spent.

  • waittilthisyear

    brett and boys and girls, ive been in germany and italy for the past couple weeks, have not been able to post. but i have followed happily. dionner, t-wood, and “goofy,” (garza) as cynical cub fans call him, have been killin it and i love it. 5 in a row. cheers

  • TLarson

    Whatever became of Geraldo Concepcion?

  • Ben (BG2383)

    Why would baseball want to kill the incentive to invest in areas of talent outside of the USA? It would be idiotic to discourage teams from investing in Latin America and certainly would end the talent of Pacific Rim area due to them having NPB and Korean league. I would consider it a big hit to Cubs since they just funded such an awesome facility. I hope they are able to keep it free and not ruin it like what happened to Puerto Rico.

  • Eric

    Speaking only of 2013 for examples sake. We are better off without an international draft. As we are connected to 2 of the top 10 guys, and have the 2nd most amount of money. If there was an international draft, we would only net one of those 2 and a much much lesser prospect once it’s our turn again in the second round.

  • Die hard

    For you long timers you may recall I argued why Intl draft won’t happen due to push back by other countries who either want to form rival major league so as to keep their home grown talent home OR would demand an extortion like fee that MLB would walk away rather than pay– and finally these other countries woke up to realization that leverage is a wonderful thing— good for them– but will get ugly like gangland turf wars

  • Die hard

    Bloomberg business show today makes same point– MLB is dying ( just look at actual attendance – fannies in the seats) and must go International to survive meaning other countries protecting their kids so can populate their teams– no more Cabreras playing for Tigers et al… meaning Ricketts investment in foreign training facility just a failed folly

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  • shawndgoldman