Paging Brian Oliver…Mr. Oliver, the white phone please…
In the interest of passing along the analysis for folks to digest over the next few days:
- MLB Bonus Baby cuts to the chase: “The entire concept of a draft needs to be seen for what it actually is: a cartel by the owners of 30 organizations to restrict the income of incoming players.”
- The idea that amateurs have been sold down even further down the river is a common sentiment online right now…
- …Followed closely by the idea that small-market teams can longer invest heavily in the draft instead of free agents.
- For an thumbnail sketch that’s less minors-oriented, check out MLB Trade Rumors Summary…
- …as well as the Biz of Baseball’s take.
For my money — and it’s not my money — the knee-jerk reaction that two-sport athletes will be driven away is probably overblown. Baseball’s been losing that battle for quite some time now and it’s why the international pipeline has become so prominent.
On the other hand, as that first link lays out the $2.9M ceiling for under-23 IFAs is going to level the playing field and take away a tool for rebuilding that teams like Texas and Seattle have been using to rebuild. Perhaps some will chortle that the Nats have never come close to spending that kind of money post-Smiley, but now they can’t for at least the next five years.
As a consolation, there are some provisions to give small- and low-revenue clubs extra draft picks. More interesting is that these can be traded. That could be game-changing or it could be disastrous.
Perhaps the most interesting wrinkle is that immediately-on-the-40 deals are now disallowed. Just like the rule that changed amateur to first-year player, this is a move against Scott Boras. Might be good for the clubs, but like nearly everything else, it’s going to depress salaries.
Lastly, there seems to be a sentiment that this will chase more players to college. That’s true, but what remains to be seen is how teams will allocate their signing budgets. I haven’t seen anything to the effect of changing when players can be drafted out of college, but I somehow doubt that they’ll allow one-and-dones like the NBA.