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MLB Draft Alternative from Fangraphs


Fangraphs article proposes to change the MLB draft to something more similar to the international signing rules. Eliminates the draft and allows teams to sign anyone but with a limited pool of money (cap).

Its an interesting read: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/corollary-damage-kumar-rocker-the-mlb-draft-and-a-better-way-forward/

 

Pros:

  • Eliminates the issue Kumar Rocker has. He can sign with anyone now, not just limited to Mets.
    More fair to the players - they currently have no say in what team they get stuck with
    Drives competition - would improve working conditions for teams to stay competitive
    Could potentially drive up minor lg salaries if MLB would allow it. Teams could offer higher salaries to entice players to sign.

Cons:

  • Probably will hurt small markets like the Brewers. Top prep players will go to the big markets/warmer climates. Likely to take less $ to do so. To some degree this already happens in the current structure as players still fall due to signability issues.

 

I like the idea because it encourages teams to treat players better. A org that has bad facilities, poor pay, bad development/training will not be able to sign the best prep players. Biggest downside is it will benefit the big market teams. They could offset this some by including a competitive balance feature in that small market teams get a larger pool to offset that (replicates the effect of competitive balance picks).

 

Its unlikely to happen though. No motivation for MLB or players union to do this. Would need legislative, legal, or public pressure for change to occur. Still, its an interesting idea.

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The drafts are technically illegal. The only reason they are seen as legal meaning no legal repercussions have been put on a league or team is because the labor unions are ok with this.

 

I don't see the MLBPA changing anything about this.

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No thanks. If anything teams need to be rewarded for success a little bit in the draft. After the first round I would give all the playoff teams an extra pick with the worst getting 31 and so on down. Eliminate all the competitive balance pick non-sense. Never should amateurs be straight up free agents in pro sports. There's enough back room deals and shady goings on with international free agents. Now imagine Boras and others like him getting the opportunity to do the same.
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No way would I like to see a free-for-all installed instead of a draft. Even with a pool, the competitive advantage of larger clubs will widen considerably. I would like to see hard bonus slots for each pick and get rid of the bonus manipulation game. I would actually like to see an international draft in place of the international signing period.

“I'm a beast, I am, and a Badger what's more. We don't change. We hold on."  C.S. Lewis

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No thanks. If anything teams need to be rewarded for success a little bit in the draft. After the first round I would give all the playoff teams an extra pick with the worst getting 31 and so on down. Eliminate all the competitive balance pick non-sense. Never should amateurs be straight up free agents in pro sports. There's enough back room deals and shady goings on with international free agents. Now imagine Boras and others like him getting the opportunity to do the same.

 

Don't know so much on rewarding playoff teams especially a Team like the Dodgers who practically doubles payroll used on majority of teams. They should be good. But I would consider measures on penalizing the worst teams for lack of competitiveness. Having a team below 70wins should be removed from consideration for top picks and be forced to pick after all the teams that didn't make the playoffs and reached 70 wins or more. Would keep more games competitive in September from the teams on that cusp to not win 70 games. There were 7 teams in 2019 that didn't reach 70 wins, so 13 teams had a better record and missed playoffs and the team with the worst record wouldn't draft 1st, but 14th. A Team like Cleveland missing the Playoffs with 93wins would have #13 instead. Maybe you just do this for the 1st round and revert back to the way it is now the remainder of the draft with worst team having 1st pick in 2nd round. Point here is Rebuilding teams would need to fill some of their rosters with FAs to avoid this scenario increasing their payroll and making more FAs not sit through the Spring waiting for a contract. The money should be offered by more teams.

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