Ben Badler has written for Baseball America on the state of International Free Agency, and in a word things have gotten ridiculous. The full article is very much worth reading (and is not behind a paywall).
Thanks in part to the way the new Collective Bargaining Agreement calculates IFA spending pools, there is much less variability in those pools. Now that they are based on market size rather than how the major league team finished the previous year, teams are able to project easily what their IFA budget will be two and three and four years down the road. That means they can be more aggressive agreeing to (technically forbidden) early deals years in advance. That means teams are already agreeing to deals with players who are part of the 2019 class, and are scouting 2020 and 2021. And with hard caps now in place, teams have all the more incentive to do so.
The 2019 class would be around 14 today, and 2021 class only 12. When we have gotten to the point that major league scouts are breaking down the mechanics of pre-teen players on a regular basis, we’ve reach lunacy.
I’m not convinced going to a draft would make any of this better. I suspect that will be the direction MLB goes, but I also suspect the trainers who effectively run the Caribbean talent pipeline would find a way to work around the draft and still keep their ability to funnel talent to major league teams in exchange for a percentage of the kids’ contracts. How they might do it depends on what exactly the draft looks like, but it would be tough to cut them out of the loop altogether. All signs point to the league wanting to institute a draft, though, so in a couple years we may know for sure how much better or worse a draft makes it.
In fact, I’m not sure how baseball cleans up this mess under any approach. The changes to the current CBA were supposed to make things better, and instead resulted in even greater ridiculousness. No doubt baseball will try again in the next CBA in a few years, and we’ll see what happens then.
- Brad Markey: 3 IP, 3 K
- David Garner: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K
- Justin Hancock: 2 IP, 2 BB, 2 K
- Taylor Davis: 1 for 3, 2B
- Mike Freeman: 1 for 2, BB, SB
- Jacob Hannemann: 1 for 3, SB
Colorado Springs 6, Iowa 4
Game Two had a lot more offense.
- Scott Carroll: 5 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 1 BB, 4 K
- Dillon Maples: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- John Andreoli: 2 for 4, 2B, SB
- Taylor Davis: 1 for 4, 2B
- Jacob Hannemann: 1 for 3, 2B, SB
Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee had the day off.
- Ryan Kellogg: 5.1 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 5 BB, 2 K
- Scott Effross: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 K
- Tyler Alamo: 2 for 3
- Eddy Martinez: 2 for 2
Myrtle Beach 5, Winston-Salem 0
Even though it was just seven innings, it still counts as a complete game shutout.
- Bryan Hudson: 4.1 IP, 6 R, 8 H, 4 BB, 3 K
- Yapson Gomez: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K
- Chad Hockin: 2 IP, 2 H, 3 K
- Luis Ayala: 1 for 3, 3 BB
- Darryl Wilson: 1 for 5, 2B
- Kevonte Mitchell: 1 for 4, 2B, BB
- Alberto Mineo: 2 for 4, BB
- Andruw Monasterio: 2 for 5, 2B
- Chris Pieters: 1 for 5, 2B
- Jhonny Pereda: 2 for 4
- Faustino Carrera: 5.1 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 3 K
- Mitch Stophel: 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 3 K
- Nelson Velazquez: 1 for 3, HR, BB
- Will Remillard: 1 for 3, 2B
- Casey Bloomquist has primarily been a reliever this season, though he often pitched in multi-inning roles. Yesterday marked the first time he pitched more than 80 pitches all year.
- Dillon Maples now has an ERA of 2.63 in 13.2 innings, and 23 strikeouts to go with just 6 walks.