When MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) agreed to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in March, one of the final hurdles was a potential international draft.
The implementation of an international draft nearly derailed talks after MLB proposed tying it to the removal of draft pick compensation in free agency.
The two sides ultimately couldn’t find a compromise, but the MLBPA agreed that a decision for an international draft wouldn’t need to be made until July 25.
The league and union continued to negotiate in the ensuing months but didn’t reach an agreement before the deadline.
“Players made clear from the outset that any International Draft must meaningfully improve the status quo for those players and not unfairly discriminate between those players and domestic entrants,” the MLBPA announced in a statement.
“To this end, the Players Association made a series of proposals aimed at protecting and advancing the rights of international amateurs.
“Our Draft proposals – unprecedented in MLBPA history – sought to establish minimum guarantees in player signings, roster spots, infrastructure investments, playing opportunities, scouting opportunities, as well as enforcement measures to combat corruption. We also made proposals to compensate international signees more fairly and in line with other amateurs, and to ensure that all prospects have access to an educational and player development safety net.
“At their core, each of our proposals was focused on protecting against the scenario that all Players fear the most – the erosion of our game on the world stage, with international players becoming the latest victim in baseball’s prioritization of efficiency over fundamental fairness. The League’s responses fell well short of anything Players could consider a fair deal.”
The two sides previously agreed if a deal for the international draft is reached, the qualifying offer would be removed, which players have wanted. But without a deal, the international signing system remains in place and qualifying offer is still part of MLB free agency.
David Ortiz believes international draft can work over time
Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer David Ortiz is one of the greatest players to come out of the Dominican Republic and previously said the league needs to take its time with implementing an international draft.
Ortiz believes an international draft could be more realistic in three years if MLB consults with players from his native country on how to properly conduct one.