The Draft Could Be Moving Back from June to July (UPDATE)

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The Draft Could Be Moving Back from June to July (UPDATE)

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Usually, I can step outside my own, tiny bubble and evaluate macro events at a macro level. I keep the META to the META, and try to keep myself out of the news.

But, man, when I saw this tweet from Peter Gammons, I clenched like crazy:

Historically, July is absolutely crazy around here. The season is in full swing, the signing deadline for draftees is halfway through the month, the international signing period opens up on July 2, the All-Star Game is midway through the month, and then there’s the Trade Deadline (and freaking Blogathon!) at the end of the month. I’ve rarely got much sanity left by August.

June, however, is only a slight step down, in terms of craziness, because the Draft is the first week, and then it’s crazy with rumors and analysis thereafter (again, together with being in-season, plus trade rumors, etc.). I’m not complaining – it’s work I really enjoy – I’m just saying it’s already a very busy two months.

So, you put the Draft on July 1? The day before the IFA period opens? With the signing deadline still mid-July!? Oh, man. I’m getting heart palpitations just thinking about what those first two weeks of July are going to be like. The Wife will not be happy when I share this possibility.


Oh, but you want to know about the actual news, itself. It’s being discussed widely on Twitter right now, and although there has been chatter about moving the Draft for a long time, it sounds like folks didn’t know this was coming down the pipe. It’s not clear if it would be in place this year, and it’s not clear if Gammons is saying this is definitely happening, or if it’s just a strong possibility.

The reason to move the draft is tied mostly to college baseball, both in terms of recruiting and in terms of the end of the college season. Remember how awkward it was to have your team draft a guy, and then have to root that his team was eliminated from the College World Series because you didn’t want to see him get hurt? This would remove that. It would also make the CWS a little easier to spotlight as a hype-building event, I suppose.

For now, I’ll wait to see what happens. I reckon I’m not the only person feeling a little nervous about this potential change – the move could mean more time on the road for scouts, more long nights for front offices in July, and terrible Draft/IFA overlap for prospecting services. You also shrink the window for kids to make huge decisions about their future from more than a month to just a couple weeks, and shrink the time early-signers can start playing pro ball (which, in turn, hurts short-season leagues).

UPDATE: This is, indeed, just a preliminary thing for now, per John Manuel:

The current CBA does not expire until after the 2016 season, so the earliest we’d be likely to see this kind of change is the 2017 Draft. It’s not impossible that the change could come sooner – specific items can be collectively bargained outside of the CBA if both sides really want it – but this might not be way up there on the priority list for players, for example.

We might, then, see a new Draft date, paired with a new international draft, in 2017.


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.