Major League Baseball has decided against holding an international draft in 2014.
The league issued a statement earlier today:
“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.”
MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner issued the following statement: “At this time, the players are not prepared to accept an international draft. The MLBPA will continue to discuss with players and the Commissioner’s Office the many issues facing its international members.”
The Sports Business Journal reported as recently as 12 days ago that a single draft for eligible baseball players at home and abroad, as well as separate drafts for domestic and international players, were being considered by the league and the Players’ Association.
It’s unclear how or if the lawsuit reportedly brought by Adrian Gonzalez’s father, David, against MLB complicated negotiations.
What does it all mean?
The amateur draft will proceed as planned June 6-8. Teams can sign international players freely but face penalties for exceeding annual spending limits, between $1.15 and $4.25 million, that are tied to their winning percentage last season. Baseball essentially chose to preserve the status quo, warts and all (among them, the “circus”-like tryouts across Central and Latin America come to mind.)
Some bullet points to tide you through the weekend:
• C.J. Retherford and Ryan Acosta, a pair of minor-leaguers who were recently released by the Dodgers, were suspended 50 games after testing positive for an Amphetamine. Both are free agents.
• Ross Porter is returning to the Dodger Stadium broadcast booth today.
• Speaking of Puig, I hear some people want to see him in the major leagues.
• Since there seems to be some question about what Dodgers manager Don Mattingly thinks about Puig, here’s exactly what he said yesterday: “I haven’t heard a lot of talk about him in center. I’ve never really heard that.” This was after Mattingly said the Dodgers specifically wanted to recalled a “true center fielder.”
• Why not personally push for Puig or Joc Pederson? Live for today, suggested one reporter. “I don’t mind it,” Mattingly quipped. “I may not be here tomorrow.”
• I spoke to general manager Ned Colletti yesterday for a story about the Dodgers’ farm system that will be released on our forthcoming Dodgers iPad app. (More details soon.) Puig’s name was brought up. The words “he’s close to reaching the majors,” or some variation thereof, did not.
• DodgersBlueHeaven.com has a fantastic letter from the pages of Dodgers (and baseball) history.
• I’m probably late to the University of Cincinnati Bearcats baseball postgame interview bandwagon, but please, watch these videos if you haven’t yet.
• Here’s REM’s cover of #9 Dream by John Lennon: