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How will the draft change?


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An interesting take here.

Sounds like a couple scouting directors are a little salty. I'm sure the player's union is fielding a few phone calls about this as well.

This will be something to pay attention to going forward.

Yeah, this is exactly what I was alluding to last week in whatever thread it was in. Change is coming, both sides are asking for it, it's just a matter of how it changes. My guess is the slot system becomes a firm cap instead of a recommendation, and the internationals will either get a second, separate draft or will just be eligible for the rule 4. I think pick trading becomes legal too, but I doubt that is as big of an issue as the other 2.

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Yeah, this is exactly what I was alluding to last week in whatever thread it was in. Change is coming, both sides are asking for it, it's just a matter of how it changes. My guess is the slot system becomes a firm cap instead of a recommendation, and the internationals will either get a second, separate draft or will just be eligible for the rule 4. I think pick trading becomes legal too, but I doubt that is as big of an issue as the other 2.

I'm sure there are a bunch of guys who have played in the majors for a long time who are calling their union reps today.

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If we are going to spend $9M on the draft, who wants changes?

Just as no Baltimore fan wished for a salary cap in '97.

Eventually the big boys realize the market inefficiencies.

Right now, the draft works quite well and a large reason why is that several teams ignore it.

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Interesting that Stark posted his comments on how the draft is broken. It was pick up by MLBTR.com. In the comments section most of them slam Stark and make an effort to defend the draft. But his is my favorite response that I think encapsulates it all:

Draft is just part of a bigger problem that is destroying baseball. The competitive imbalance created by teams in larger markets who can spend money will ultimately be a bigger blow to this league than gambling or steroids combined.

First, pointing out that teams such as the Rockies, Rays, and Indians have competed in recent years doesn't mean there's parity. Pointing out there were 12 of the 14 possible world series participants in the past seven years doesn't mean there's parity. There's simply no parity in MLB anymore and the same high spending teams will always have the biggest advantage in one area---acquiring talent.

I've pointed out on other blogs, there's only three ways a team can add talent to their organization and all three favor large market/wealthy teams. First, free agency. I don't think anyone here is going to argue that adding players through FA basically is a 3 to 6 horse race when it comes to the big Free Agents. Basically the LA teams, Chicago teams, NY teams, Boston, and the occasional Washington area team. Rarely does any other team have remotely a shot at a Tex, Sabathia, or even an AJ Burnett for that matter.

Second way to add talent...the draft. Yes, everyone pays overslot but again this favors wealthy teams because of the fact that prospects can make their outlandish demands known before hand therefore causing cash strapped teams to pass on them while big market teams can pay the bonus demands. It is an advantage because of the system...which is broke.

Third way to add talent---international signings. Again yes, teams like the A's and Giants and even the Pirates have signed high profile international free agents. But when it comes to someone like, Dice-K, who needs a team to post tens of millions just to get the chance to negotiate, then you're shrinking the pool of teams that can acquire his services simply based on the fact that they can't afford to even negotiate.

So that's the three ways to add talent to an organization and I don't see one instance where the playing field is level and ISN'T determined by money. There isn't one mechanism in place that favors bad teams in order to help them improve...not even the draft does that. We're going to have a league where the Yanks play the Sox every game and oh what fun that will be for everyone in Boston, New York, and at ESPN.

Posted by a user "Tribe In 09". Almost sounds like an O's fan and certainly expresses much of what is said here often.

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The weird thing about Stark's article is that it does not readily apply to the current situation. It applies to a situation where the rich teams are actually taking advantage of the market as they do in free agency.

In reality, the domestic amateur market is incredibly fair. Poorer teams readily compete in this market and can do so easily. It is one thing to budget 10MM for draftees. It is another to budget 80MM for you 25 man roster. 10MM is really not much in terms of the sharing agreements in place.

Same is also true in the international market. Yes, your once in a while Japanese products go to the highest bidder and half the time that works out. Younger talent is much more evenly split with smaller markets somewhat more aggressive than larger ones.

Although a team like the Red Sox are aggressive here . . . they are arguably not the most aggressive.

The problem is not now . . . it is 5 years from now when all of the rich figure out the inefficiencies of the current market.

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The weird thing about Stark's article is that it does not readily apply to the current situation. It applies to a situation where the rich teams are actually taking advantage of the market as they do in free agency.

In reality, the domestic amateur market is incredibly fair. Poorer teams readily compete in this market and can do so easily. It is one thing to budget 10MM for draftees. It is another to budget 80MM for you 25 man roster. 10MM is really not much in terms of the sharing agreements in place.

Same is also true in the international market. Yes, your once in a while Japanese products go to the highest bidder and half the time that works out. Younger talent is much more evenly split with smaller markets somewhat more aggressive than larger ones.

Although a team like the Red Sox are aggressive here . . . they are arguably not the most aggressive.

The problem is not now . . . it is 5 years from now when all of the rich figure out the inefficiencies of the current market.

You don't think there is a problem where players drafted can completely hold the drafting team hostage if they don't want to play there? I mean they can basically tell every team they won't sign and then sign with the Yanks or Sox at the end of the round if they want. I mean, you are right, it isn't abused yet, but it's showing signs of getting there, J.D.Drew was the beginning guys like Tate are the current (getting $6.5m because he's got so many other options and the team has little to no leverage) and the future could be scary.

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You don't think there is a problem where players drafted can completely hold the drafting team hostage if they don't want to play there? I mean they can basically tell every team they won't sign and then sign with the Yanks or Sox at the end of the round if they want. I mean, you are right, it isn't abused yet, but it's showing signs of getting there, J.D.Drew was the beginning guys like Tate are the current (getting $6.5m because he's got so many other options and the team has little to no leverage) and the future could be scary.

So who were the big guys the Yanks and BoSox got at the end of the round?

Again any team should be able to spend 10mm on the draft. Most elect not to. The problem is coming. It is not there yet.

I mean, think of the Pirates with Wieters. They could chose between Wieters and Burnitz + Moskos. They chose the latter. That is not a flaw in the system. That is a flaw in evaluation and appropriation of funds.

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So who were the big guys the Yanks and BoSox got at the end of the round?

Again any team should be able to spend 10mm on the draft. Most elect not to. The problem is coming. It is not there yet.

I mean, think of the Pirates with Wieters. They could chose between Wieters and Burnitz + Moskos. They chose the latter. That is not a flaw in the system. That is a flaw in evaluation and appropriation of funds.

You're confusing me here. On one hand you're acknowledging that the flawed system will be exploited by the richer teams over time. On the other hand, you're highlighting a scenario where the Pirates clearly passed on the BPA for financial reasons, and you're saying that's not a flaw in the system.

It's a fundamentally anti-competitive system.

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You don't think there is a problem where players drafted can completely hold the drafting team hostage if they don't want to play there? I mean they can basically tell every team they won't sign and then sign with the Yanks or Sox at the end of the round if they want. I mean, you are right, it isn't abused yet, but it's showing signs of getting there, J.D.Drew was the beginning guys like Tate are the current (getting $6.5m because he's got so many other options and the team has little to no leverage) and the future could be scary.

That almost sounds like a ... [shudder] ... free market to me!

Un-American! Blasphemy!

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You're confusing me here. On one hand you're acknowledging that the flawed system will be exploited by the richer teams over time. On the other hand, you're highlighting a scenario where the Pirates clearly passed on the BPA for financial reasons, and you're saying that's not a flaw in the system.

It's a fundamentally anti-competitive system.

It is for financial reasons, but they had a choice. They could invest in amateur player acquisition or they could sign a washed up player and a poor 1st round choice. That is the example I gave. The Pirates had every ability to sign Wieters, but they chose to redirect money they had. Financially, they were quite capable of signing him.

That is not a flaw in the system. That is showing a system where teams have multiple approaches at fielding a competitive club and will try to use what they think is optimal in terms of strategy. They went with the idea that you go low in the draft and go for the 'proven veteran.'

The system can be anti-competitive, but it is not now. What I am saying is that Stark's article does not apply to what is currently happening. Rather, it is probably quite applicable to what will happen in 5 years.

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