coreg 5 mg escitalopram 15 mg apotex costco pharmacy topamax cialis 5 mg utilise acheter ranitidine 300 mg endroits pour acheter clomid oУЙ est-il sУЉcuritaire d'acheter du clomid en ligne pouvez-vous acheter viagra en thaУЏlande est-il un gУЉnУЉrique mУЉdecine pour singulair la metformine nom de marque gУЉnУЉrique nom acheter du viagra pas cher canada actonel une fois par mois 150 mg thuoc zocor 20 mg viagra 100mg comprimУЉs 12 bois de moulins artane pour vente diflucan pas de coУЛt d'assurance advair ventes mondiales cymbalta bouchon 60mg femara pour la vente philippines prospecto nexium 20 mg prednisone 10 mg gain de poids achat doxycycline monohydrate la ranitidine (zantac) 300 mg. capsule propranolol eg 40 mg gУЉnУЉrique deltasone lisinopril hctz prix adalat oros onglet 30 mg como tomar o clomid 50mg coУЛt total de l'accutane bula ne tofranil 25 mg viagra 100 mg durУЉe celebrex prix en egypte peut zithromax pilules УЉcrasУЉes apo-rosuvastatin prix voltaren flex 50 mg oУЙ acheter du viagra au canada en toute sУЉcuritУЉ colchicine gУЉnУЉrique prix metoprolol succinate er 100mg comprimУЉs tretinoin cream 0.025 acheter minocycline gУЉnУЉrique УЉquivalent l'ampicilline trihydrate 500mg pyridium 100 mg para que servir gУЉnУЉrique claritin prix pletal cilostazol 100 mg pouvez-vous acheter viagra dans la pharmacie triamterene 37,5 mg-hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg tablette la prise de synthroid et des pilules pour maigrir le but de ranitidine 150 mg risperdal 2,5 mg la clindamycine 150 mg pour les maux de dents oУЙ puis-je acheter viagra gУЉnУЉrique en inde plavix 300 mg indication cialis generika - tadacip - tadalafil 20mg photos de methotrexate pilules zocor vente 2011 provera et clomid 100mg succУЈs triamterene viagra tablet prix У mumbai prescription pas cher viagra en ligne comment cesser le celexa 20 mg obat doxycycline 50 mg est-il un gУЉnУЉrique du mУЉdicament pour voltaren gel pouvez-vous acheter isotretinoin en ligne keflex mУЉdicaments prix provera 10 mg deux fois par jour, 5 jours la commande УЉlectronique de l'isotrУЉtinoУЏne seroquel prolonger 150 mg meilleur prix cialis ce est zocor 10 mg pas cher propecia forum effets du viagra 100mg prix du nizoral anti dandruff shampoo en inde canadian pharmacy lamictal celexa 20 mg image oУЙ puis-je acheter original cytotec dans les philippines acheter viagra nz 80 mg de prednisone par jour erythromycin 500 mg pendant la grossesse zanaflex prescription d'ordonnance pour le viagra l'irlande comment commander xenical en ligne commander accutane canada nizoral 200 mg posologie diflucan 150 mg par lui meilleur prix pour gУЉnУЉrique lipitor est gУЉnУЉrique atorvastatine le mУЊme que le lipitor ventolin hfa УЉchantillons professionnels meilleur endroit pour acheter viagra commentaires en ligne 2013 xeloda 500 mg precio mexico pristiq vs effexor coУЛt vendo viagra le costa rica crestor 10 mg tous les deux jours viagra livraison gratuite canada oУЙ acheter zofran finasteride 1mg pour la repousse des cheveux quand est-cymbalta gУЉnУЉrique disponible minocycline 100mg pour la rosacУЉe gУЉnУЉrique pour procardia xl prednisone 20 mg walmart combien abilify 5mg coУЛt gУЉnУЉrique seroquel 50 mg isoptin 240 mg prospect meilleur prix pour lipitor 10mg je veux acheter pas cher viagra 5 jour de prednisone ordonnance cialis generico 20mg voltaren retarder 100 mg pret comment dois-je prendre xenical 120mg cephalexin 500mg en inde comment est-il sУЛr de commander viagra en ligne viagra alternative ordonnance commande en ligne viagra pfizer seroquel 100 mg vous haute trazodone 50 mg У prendre de la hauteur nombre generico de vytorin gУЉnУЉrique lexapro vs lexapro antabuse comment acheter photos prilosec pilules viagra prix rm kegunaan obat ranitidine 150mg les fabricants de gУЉnУЉriques de tamoxifen prednisone en ligne durant la nuit redustat orlistat 120 mg coУЛt de propecia cvs coУЛt de gУЉnУЉrique lexapro sans assurance cymbalta 20 mg prix acheter cialis 20 mg en ligne aciclovir suspension de 200 mg diflucan 50 mg prospect actos santУЉ canada 30 mg amitriptyline retrait risperdal comprimУЉs de 0,5 mg gУЉnУЉrique propecia royaume-uni nexium prix nous buspar pour le trouble panique 20mg accutane effets secondaires qu'est-ce que neurontin 300 mg pour hУДtel cipro faible coУЛt marque gУЉnУЉrique de micardis suprax 100mg 5ml suspension des effets secondaires clomid pilules prix acheter cialis canadien de la pharmacie hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg et la goutte 150mg clomid jumeaux prix de diflucan 150 mg combien coУЛte gУЉnУЉrique singulair coУЛt sans assurance comment prendre buspar 15 mg quel est le prix du viagra au walmart pharmacie hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg mfg cadista 150 mg cymbalta le mexique pharmacie accutane pouvez-vous obtenir de haut sur etodolac 500 mg combien de pilules viennent dans une ordonnance viagra alesse 28 pilules de contrУДle des naissances acheter lasix canada paxil pour le trouble bipolaire ii topamax 50 mg par kilo verdirirmi coУЛt de clozaril la clonidine et de stress post-traumatique prednisolone 35 mg achat norvasc en ligne clopidogrel coupons de rУЉduction gУЉnУЉrique norvasc bУЉsylate d'amlodipine hyzaar de 100 mg aricept coУЛt chez walmart losartan 50 mg hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg 300 mg de chlorhydrate de diltiazem existe-t-generico ne luvox comment faire pour commander synthroid en ligne cialis tbl 4x 20mg clopidogrel 75 mg б†аЕаНаА quel est le nom gУЉnУЉrique pour cleocin levitra 10mg coУЛt gУЉnУЉrique levitra 20mg flonase 0,05 mg acheter metoprolol tartrate non digУЉrУЉs pilules dans les selles allegra zyprexa examens de trouble bipolaire expirУЉ erythromycin pilules quelle est la prescription de la dose pour zantac caverta 100 mg, comprimУЉs augmentin 1000 mg dose viagra 100mg pfizer prix valor serophene 50mg est zoloft 100 mg fort l'efficacitУЉ de clomid 100mg wellbutrin coУЛt gУЉnУЉrique lasix 20 mg compresse meilleur prix cialis zyvox coУЛt par dose dose de cialis de 20 mg combien de fois puis-je prendre zofran 4 mg pendant la grossesse comment commander topamax en ligne cialis 20 mg en afrique du sud levitra prix de dУЉtail finasteride 5 mg actavis seroquel 25 mg comprimУЉs effets secondaires peut ranitidine pilules vous haute premarin 1.25 mg effets secondaires viagra achat en ligne canada cephalexin 250/5ml prix prix norvasc 5mg cephalexin 500mg pour infection dentaire lopid 900 mg gemfibrozilo effets secondaires metformine 1000 mg qu'est-ce que le crestor 20 mg utilisУЉ pour zoloft pilules prix abilify gУЉnУЉrique va meilleurs prix pour prevacid cialis 20 mg modo d uso teva pharmaceuticals lipitor gУЉnУЉrique oУЙ puis-je acheter buspar en ligne wellbutrin 200 mg la perte de poids est-il un gУЉnУЉrique forme de cipro paroxetine 20 mg image marque gУЉnУЉrique pour coumadin gУЉnУЉrique nexium-nous combien coУЛte un coup de depo provera cost qui fabrique cymbalta gУЉnУЉrique erythromycin 250 mg utilisУЉ pour les enfants benadryl mg meilleur pharmacie pour acheter gУЉnУЉrique viagra pilules de contrУДle des naissances alesse prix xenical comprimУЉs acheter en ligne prix de abilify au mexique combien de metformine de 500 mg coУЛt prix de cialis 5mg au walmart prix de viagra en usa moins cher viagra 100mg 50 mg nolvadex aciphex acheter oУЙ puis-je acheter authentique kamagra lipitor gУЉnУЉrique verre de rappel cytotec costo bogota etodolac 400 mg reviews pilules lexapro 120 mg de paxil zyprexa 10 mg tb benadryl 50 mg im coУЛt de l'olanzapine canada puis-je prendre synthroid et des pilules pour maigrir de confiance viagra gУЉnУЉrique sites celexa surdose mg prednisone 40 mg colite viagra-canada.com est un mУЉdicament d'ordonnance lexapro synthroid costco combien accutane coУЛt sans assurance en 2014 ce n'escitalopram 10 mg faire pour vous remeron 15 mg costo la trУЉtinoУЏne crУЈme 025 achat viagra canada droit acheter valtrex du canada lamisil dermgel mУЉdicaments puis-je prendre deux 25 mg amitriptyline acheter У bas prix tretinoin cream doxycycline 100 mg par voie orale deux fois par jour pendant 7 jours* viagra en ligne canada gУЉnУЉrique cardizem 20 mg iv metformin gУЉnУЉrique philippines l'arrУЊt seroquel 25mg viagra prУЉservatif acheter en ligne combien advair diskus coУЛt chez walmart generic isotretinoin coУЛt metoprolol 50 mg tab valtrex coupons de rУЉductions est-viagra gУЉnУЉrique encore ce n'clonidine pilules n' valor ne nexium 40mg meclizine hcl onglet 12,5 mg atrovent solution nasale nasale wellbutrin 300 mg trop fort comprar viagra 200mg effets secondaires de zocor 80 mg methotrexate 25 mg j code baclofen 20 mg prix de la rue paroxetine hcl 40 mg de haut moins cher dapoxetine lansoprazole 30 mg nexium vs generico faire allegra 120mg quelle est l'efficacitУЉ de la fluoxУЉtine 20mg lisinopril 40 mg pour la vente diflucan 150 mg et grossesse la clindamycine-mip 600 mg comprimУЉs gУЉnУЉrique cymbalta 2013 trazodone 150 mg effets wellbutrin prix costco effets secondaires de 40 mg de fluoxУЉtine prednisone 10 mg effets secondaires chez les chiens synthroid gУЉnУЉrique marques oУЙ acheter colchicine 0,6 mg quel est le coУЛt de aciphex celexa prix au comptant coУЛt de cialis pilules ciprofloxacine 500mg acheter 100 mg de zoloft trop phenergan 25mg comprimУЉs de 50 ingrУЉdients allegra 180 mg gУЉnУЉrique levitra 20mg lexapro 5 mg efficace de l'anxiУЉtУЉ viagra de pharmacies canadiennes 50 mg benadryl pendant la grossesse directions pour viagra 100mg abilify pharmacie coupon la carbamazУЉpine tegretol 100mg prevacid otc prix prednisolone comprimУЉs de 25mg en australie ventolin evohaler prix tesco pharmacie cialis prix clomid 50 mg traitement oУЙ obtenir valtrex pas cher pouvez-vous acheter viagra dans une pharmacie puis-je acheter finasteride en ligne propecia gУЉnУЉrique walmart voltaren sr 75mg gУЉnУЉrique wellbutrin pУЉnurie seroquel 100 mg prospect bupropion xl 300 mg coУЛt marque gУЉnУЉrique pour ceftin commander du viagra en ligne nz la codУЉine et la promethazine acheter en ligne voltaren dolo supplУЉmentaire de 50 mg finasteride 1,25 mg/jour rogaine 5 est-il un gУЉnУЉrique du mУЉdicament pour prograf combien une pilule de viagra des coУЛts combien de temps prend un 40 mg strattera derniУЈre qu'est-ce que augmentin 500mg tab gУЉnУЉrique УЉquivalent У tofranil provera 20 mg pendant 7 jours effets secondaires sexuels des paxil 10 mg aldara canada pharmacie quel est le nom gУЉnУЉrique pour flonase walgreens pharmacie doxycycline bula do medicamento crestor 20mg kamagra oral jelly У vendre naltrexone 32 mg wellbutrin 100 mg par jour zithromax coУЛt sans assurance viagra 100mg prix par pilule abilify prix aux etats-unis ordonnance avapro en ligne metformin 500 mg est pour quoi fluoxetine 20 mg capsules commentaires la progestУЉrone pilules clomid benadryl 25 mg posologie chiens coУЛt orlistat de l'inde cytotec costo 2013 quelle est la forme gУЉnУЉrique de aciphex medicamento baclofen 10 mg canadian pharmacy zovirax pommade aricept 5 mg indikation low dose naltrexone 1mg rite aid benadryl prix combien de temps faut-il pour que 10mg propranolol au travail crestor 10 mg 90 film de la tuberculose propecia finasteride pas cher keflex 500 mg para que servir terugbetaling fosamax 70 mg meilleur prix sur cialis 20mg quelles sont baclofen 10mg comprimУЉs pour levitra 10 mg 12 tabletten achat lamisil orale crestor 5 mg l'УЉquivalent de lipitor cytotec pУЉrou costo cialis gУЉnУЉrique made in usa gУЉnУЉrique synthroid provoquer des maux de tУЊte quand crestor УЊtre disponible sous forme gУЉnУЉrique est otc prevacid le mУЊme que sur ordonnance prevacid oУЙ acheter dulcolax en canada plavix 600 mg gУЉnУЉrique claritin croquer ne lipitor venir sous forme gУЉnУЉrique escitalopram 20 mg walmart ce qui est clarinex 5mg comprimУЉs le nom gУЉnУЉrique de bactrim voltaren gt 50 mg deltacortril ent prednisolone 5mg posologie acheter singulair walmart femara 2.5 mg coУЛt wellbutrin vs gУЉnУЉrique bupropion effets secondaires 250 mg de zoloft augmentin le prix des mУЉdicaments prix celebrex 200mg effexor xr 75mg posologie femara 2.5 prix cialis pour la vente en philippines gratuits cialis avec ordonnance est zetia disponible en gУЉnУЉrique coУЛt du cytotec dans les philippines peut prednisone affecter le contrУДle des naissances pilules augmentin 875 mg une infection des sinus walmart pharmacie augmentin coУЛt gУЉnУЉrique motrin accutane effets secondaires 40 mg canadienne plavix gУЉnУЉrique acheter du viagra prix le moins cher crestor vs lipitor les ventes lisinopril prix cvs pouvez-vous obtenir haut sur l'escitalopram 10 mg para quУЉ servir tegretol cr 200mg etodolac 400 mg utilisУЉe traiter peut prendre de 2 У 200 mg de celebrex mУЉdicament gУЉnУЉrique arimidex pour est viagra un mУЉdicament d'ordonnance au mexique viagra lloyds pharmacy viagra 50 mg de la rue de la valeur propecia walmart canada gУЉnУЉrique paxil 30mg l'isotrУЉtinoУЏne actavis 20 mg bivirkninger clopidogrel 600 mg dose de charge d'essai lariam comprimУЉs de 250 mg est-cymbalta sous forme gУЉnУЉrique celebrex 200 mg n2 5 mg cialis gУЉnУЉrique quel est le coУЛt de plavix au walmart le shampooing nizoral oУЙ acheter nyc cytotec pilules pour l'avortement en prenant 60 mg de celexa quel est le coУЛt de gУЉnУЉrique lamictal afin promУЉthazine la codУЉine liquide valtrex gУЉnУЉrique posologie lamictal prescription assistance gУЉnУЉrique wellbutrin moins efficace oУЙ puis-je acheter zyban comprimУЉs keflex antibiotiques prix metformin 750 mg effets secondaires cialis 20mg comprimУЉs prix la version gУЉnУЉrique de flonase est accutane couvert par l'assurance au canada 225 mg effexor retrait accutane isotretinoin 20 mg qu'est-ce que cela pour seroquel 300 mg sommeil meilleur endroit pour acheter viagra en ligne au canada de chlorhydrate de bupropion xl 300 mg tab loi gУЉnУЉrique tetracycline noms metoclopramide oУЙ acheter en royaume-uni cialis une fois la journУЉe generico cymbalta 30 mg fascia un 12 heures allegra gУЉnУЉrique acheter gУЉnУЉrique sumycin pms amitriptyline 50 mg commander strattera en ligne voltaren emulgel 60 mg prilosec gУЉnУЉrique costco tegretol 200 mg 160 qu'est-ce que le gУЉnУЉrique de seroquel quel est prometrium 100 mg capsule prednisone 20 mg street value ventolin salbutamol 4 mg neurontin 400 mg prix meilleur canadien de la pharmacie en ligne viagra faible coУЛt strattera acheter topamax et la phentermine peut naprosyn 500mg vous haute walgreens pharmacie diflucan prix de nexium cialis pilules pas cher est cialis gУЉnУЉrique disponible ciprofloxacine 500mg 127 qu'est-ce que ic ranitidine 150 mg rabais voltaren gel doxycycline capsules de 100 mg posologie cipro xr 500 mg dose quand avez-metformin devenir gУЉnУЉrique medicamento trental 400 mg tablette glycomet 500 mg accutane oУЙ acheter royaume-uni provera puis clomid 100mg gУЉnУЉrique trazodone 50 mg coУЛt moyen de lamisil cialis 20 mg 2 tablette le mУЉthotrexate wyeth 2,5 mg comprimidos acheter gУЉnУЉrique proscar combien de temps zanaflex 4 mg sУЉjour dans votre systУЈme multiples sur clomid 100mg autres pilules avortement en dehors de cytotec co ciprofloxacin 500 mg tablette quelle est la force 20mg cialis renova vs gУЉnУЉrique tretinoin marque gУЉnУЉrique actos forum augmentin 500 mg quand lexapro devenir gУЉnУЉrique est de 30 mg de baclofУЈne trop qui plus rentable de viagra ou de cialis le coУЛt de la ciprofloxacine gouttes dans l'oreille zanaflex 4 mg onglets trazodone 50 mg tab orale le finastУЉride gУЉnУЉrique en ligne accutane gУЉnУЉrique afrique du sud dilantin 2mg rue de la valeur coУЛt de singulair 5mg acheter levitra philippines nolvadex en vente canada zyrtec gtt 10 mg/ml 20 ml naltrexone 50 mg d'alcool prix pour cleocin peut lasix pilules УЉcrasУЉes comment prendre prednisone 40 mg acheter ventolin asda singulair 4 mg valor
Home Pete Toms RULE IV DRAFT -- What is the Future of MLB Player Development?

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 327 guests online

Atom RSS

RULE IV DRAFT -- What is the Future of MLB Player Development? PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 11
PoorBest 
Pete Toms Article Archive
Written by Pete Toms   
Sunday, 16 November 2008 22:22

A Biz of Baseball OriginalMLB implemented changes to the Rule IV draft in the most recent round of CBA negotiations, with the intent that the changes would result in a lowering of signing bonuses doled out to drafted amateurs. Two drafts have since been conducted and the changes have not lowered signing bonuses, leading to speculation that MLB will attempt to negotiate mandated slotting of draft picks in the next CBA. (The CBA expires in December, 2011). Paradoxically, while dissatisfied with the inflationary impact the Rule IV draft has had on acquiring labor in North America, it appears MLB will attempt to expand the draft to Latin America, and beyond in an attempt to control the spiraling costs of signing amateur players not subject to the draft.

The concept of a worldwide draft was first proposed as part of the 2002 CBA, but negotiations between management and the MLBPA withered on the vine.

The current CBA – which took effect in December 2006 – included an earlier signing deadline of August 15 for players chosen in the Rule IV / aka June draft. Combined with another change that awards compensation in the following year’s draft for teams failing to sign their pick, management was to be better positioned in negotiations with drafted amateurs. In addition, prior to the 2007 draft, Commissioner Selig exerted pressure on clubs to adhere to recommended "draft slot" bonuses that were set 10% lower than the previous year. Some clubs complied, but the overall impact of the rule changes and “slot recommendations” was negligible.

Baseball America reported, "There were 184 picks in the first five rounds in 2007, and 171 of them signed, receiving an average bonus of $685,328. Last year, 179 of the first 184 picks agreed to terms, getting an average bonus of $662,531. So despite the 10 percent reduction in slots, the bonuses rose 3 percent.” Sports Business Journal reported, "Overall average signing bonuses for 2007 first-round draft picks hit their highest mark in five years, at nearly $2.1 million…"

Commissioner Selig relaxed his efforts to control spending in the 08 draft and an increased amount of dollars were awarded to drafted players. In August, Forbes reporter Tom Van Riper wrote, “The league made a concerted effort to change things this year, encouraging small-market teams picking near the top to draft the best talent and pay out expensive bonuses.” In October, Baseball America reported, “Teams combined to spend $186.5 million on draft bonuses in 2008, an amount believed to be a record and up 23 percent from the $151.8 million they shelled out in 2007.”

The past two drafts have seen a trend of small and mid market franchises outspending many larger market franchises. The Rays and Nationals ranked #2 and #5 in dollars spent on signing bonuses in the 07 draft with the Royals and Rangers also in the top 10. The 08 draft saw an increase in this behaviour with the Royals, Rays and Pirates all in the top 4 along with the Giants, Brewers, Rangers, Twins and Indians all in the top 10. The shift amongst small and mid market teams to compete more aggressively in the Rule IV draft is perhaps a reaction to the diminishing number of quality free agents available in recent years. According to Maury Brown, “...clubs are wrapping up contracts more often now – signing players to extensions, which in turn lowers the number of players in the free agency pool.....” And, “What has happened over the years is a case of viewing free agency as an inefficient avenue in which to build contenders." Increasing investments in the Rule IV draft might also be attributed to the better results that clubs are garnering in the draft, perhaps due to the increased emphasis on “objective analysis” in evaluating amateur talent. In June of this year, Rob Neyer wrote on his ESPN blog;

Anyway, it seems to me that teams are doing a lot better in the draft than they used to.....In the 1970s, an entire first round might produce four or five good major leaguers. Probably an average of six or seven per draft (first round only).

In 2002, the first round produced B.J. Upton, Zack Greinke, Prince Fielder, Jeff Francis, Jeremy Hermida, Joe Saunders, Khalil Greene, Scott Kazmir, Nick Swisher, Cole Hamels, James Loney, Jeremy Guthrie, Jeff Francoeur, Joe Blanton and Matt Cain. That's 15 guys who already have done good things in the majors. I suppose two or three of them will fall by the wayside soon, but they might be replaced by first-rounders who haven't made it yet.

In 2003, the first round produced Delmon Young, Rickie Weeks, Nick Markakis, John Danks, Lastings Milledge, Aaron Hill, David Murphy, Conor Jackson, Chad Cordero, Chad Billingsley, Eric Duncan and Carlos Quentin. That's 12 guys, and does not include Ian Stewart, Michael Aubrey, Brandon Wood or Daric Barton, all of whom are highly regarded young hitters.

What does it mean?...I think it also means teams have become more systematic -- and thus more effective -- in their evaluation of amateur players. ...

Some observers believe that allowing the trading of draft picks would be beneficial to clubs, contributing to more competitive balance by providing clubs more flexibility in maximizing the value of their pick(s). Keith Law of ESPN wrote prior to this years’ Rule IV draft, “Small-market or just plain cheap teams selecting near the top of the draft are hostages of their situations. If the best player on the board wants a bonus well above slot for that teams' position, and they are unwilling or unable to pay, they must select the best player on the board whom they can afford, but in the process they have no way to recover the value they lost from having to bypass the best player. Allowing these teams to trade picks would mean that, for example, the Pirates, picking fourth last year, could have received value in excess of what they actually got (selecting Daniel Moskos, who wasn't one of the 10 best players in the draft) by trading their pick to a team that coveted Rick Porcello or Matt Wieters, two high-slot players still available for the Pirates' pick.”

At the same time MLB is spending record amounts of money on drafted players it is spending record amounts of money on free agent amateur players in Latin America, principally in the Dominican Republic. In a Baseball America piece, Ben Badler quoted an unnamed scouting director, “I didn't think that I would say this three years ago, but Latin America is becoming more expensive than the draft." Five of the Top 10 International Signing Bonuses, including the top 3, were awarded in 2008. The A’s awarded Dominican Michel Inoa a $4.25 million signing bonus. Prior to 2008 the previous high was $2.44 million. In September, ESPN published figures provided by MLB claiming that “..the average signing bonus given to prospects in the Dominican Republic has more than tripled.” MLB claims the average signing bonus has ballooned to approximately $108,000 in 08, up from an average of approximately $29,000 in 04. An unnamed AL executive was quoted in Baseball America in July, “We're going to crash and burn because these numbers are ridiculous. Ultimately something needs to change."

Both Commissioner Selig and MLB President and COO Bob DuPuy have been very public this season in their support for expanding the draft to Latin American countries. During an All Star Game Q&A with baseball media, Selig was quoted, “I don't think it's any secret that support for a worldwide draft is growing amongst all baseball people," Selig said. "I've had a lot of people, including a significant number of general managers, say to me in the last couple of months that they wish we had a worldwide draft. I think that's something we will discuss in the future." DuPuy was quoted in an ESPN article published in September, "There's almost total unanimity from the clubs' standpoint that a worldwide draft would be a good thing."

MLB’s public desire to implement an amateur draft in Latin America has been accompanied by a season’s worth of reports in high profile baseball publications – USA Today, ESPN, Baseball America – detailing abuses suffered by young Latin baseball players, particularly in the Dominican Republic. The reporting is in reaction to investigations launched by both the FBI and MLB into “bonus skimming / kickback schemes” involving scouts employed by MLB clubs and local buscons/player agents. The White Sox, Yankees and Red Sox all dismissed employees in their international scouting operations this season over alleged improprieties. At the same time, much attention has been brought to steroid use amongst Dominican amateur players. USA Today reported that the Dominican Summer League, “....made up 15% of all players under contract to major league teams at the start of the season, yet they accounted for nearly 60% (40 of 68) of positive drug tests this year.” Again, the media reports affix much of the blame to the buscon culture. From Baseball America, “Dodgers scout Ralph Avila, who helped open the floodgates to Dominican talent when he established the first training academy there 22 years ago, fears things have gotten so out of hand that the only way to bring order would be to make Dominican players subject to the draft, an idea that has been discussed before.”

If the Rule IV draft is expanded to include Latin American countries, what impacts will it have on the baseball labor market? The introduction of the draft in 1965 is often linked to a corresponding decline in the percentage of big league players recruited from the US and the increase in big league players recruited from Latin America. A 2002 Emory University Law School analysis on the impacts of the draft “U.S. Labor Market Regulation and the Export of Employment: Major League Baseball Replaces U.S. Players with Foreigners”, concluded, “Our analysis of the market for professional baseball players shows that domestic labor-market restrictions have reduced domestic employment, especially of African-Americans, with employers instead shifting employment overseas. Our theoretical model suggests that, in 1965, the imposition of both the player draft and stricter age minimums for hiring U.S. players reduced the benefits of signing and developing U.S. players, especially players from disadvantaged groups such as African-Americans. Our empirical analysis, using a new data set, then shows that, in response, teams have shifted to developing and hiring players from other countries where the regulations do not apply, such as Latin America.” Jimmie Lee Solomon, MLB executive vice president for baseball operations, was quoted last year in a CNNMoney.com article. "Clubs do leverage their dollars much better if they develop a kid in a country not subject to the draft. Those decisions are purely business decisions, very pragmatic business decisions."

The discussion in the baseball media this season concerning expansion of the draft to Latin America has led to reflections on the affects of the introduction of the draft to Puerto Rico in 1989. Again from Baseball America;

It has happened before, in 1989, when baseball, in an effort to rein in bonuses, expanded its amateur draft to include Puerto Rico. Almost 20 years later, many in Puerto Rico blame that decision for the demise of baseball on the island, where the once-prestigious winter league wasn't even able to play last season.

"Between the baseball academies and the Dominican Summer League, we built la gallina de oro, the golden hen," Avila said. "Now it's a real mess. The market is crazy.

"A worldwide draft would kill la gallina de oro."

And from the aforementioned Emory University Law School analysis; “In the 1990s, Puerto Rico has been the one exception to the increasing number of Latin-born players in MLB, providing declining numbers of players.....The draft again explains this....Teams quickly cut back their scouting and development efforts in Puerto Rico....In less than a decade after 1989, the number of Puerto Rican players signed per year had dropped more than 40%.”

The competition to acquire talent in Latin countries has led to multi million dollar investments by MLB clubs in training facilities/baseball academies, again mostly in the Dominican Republic. The SportsBusiness Journal reported that the Padres recently opened their training academy, investing $8 million in the project. “This does quite a number of things for us,” said Padres Chief Executive Sandy Alderson. “There are not many foreign players on our roster, and it immediately makes us more competitive and visible in that space, and fully reflects the fast growing amount of international talent in our game. It will also enhance our brand up and down our organization and gives us a better opportunity to overcome some market advantages teams like the [New York] Mets have.” Will a draft in the Dominican Republic result in a decrease in these investments? From a 2002 Alan Schwarz piece in ESPN, “Warming to Idea of Global Draft”, “Some executives worry that should MLB fold such players into the draft, teams wouldn’t invest the millions of dollars they currently do on academies because there’s no sense in developing a player to get drafted by another club.”

Regardless of the real or proposed changes, no draft, inclusion of Latin America in the draft, earlier signing deadline, compensatory picks, trading of picks, mandatory slotting....the cost of developing players is a primary concern amongst all clubs. Across MLB, player development costs are in excess of $600 million per year. In March, Andrew Zimbalist wrote in SportsBusiness Journal;

In 2007, the average MLB team spent more than $20 million on its player development system. Of this, over $11.5 million went to pay the salaries of the minor league players.

Generally, each MLB team has six minor league affiliates. Teams also run fall and winter development camps and leagues. Together, an average of 6.2 percent of MLB revenue went toward these minor league salaries.

Also important to business of MLB player development is the impact that the signing of Japanese amateur Junichi Tazawa to a major league contract this off-season will have on future negotiations with Japanese baseball. From a recent MLB.com piece;

As far as MLB is concerned, there are no restrictions on signing Asian amateurs; those players are not included in the annual First-Year Player Draft. Instead, they are handled as free agents, just like youngsters from Latin American countries outside the U.S. commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

But Japanese baseball officials have long worried about losing amateurs to MLB and the ripple effect that might have on professional baseball in their country. Thus far, Kazuhito Tadano and Mac Suzuki are the only Japanese players to have played in the big leagues without playing Japanese pro baseball first.

To that end, Japanese officials have instituted a strict return policy on youngsters who opt to sign with MLB teams first: a three-year waiting period after they leave the U.S. for high school players and two years for college or industrial league players before they can join any of the 12 Nippon professional teams.

Should Tazawa perform well in ‘09 other Japanese amateurs could follow his example which would no doubt strain relations between MLB and Japanese baseball.

The Rule IV draft and escalating player development costs are an issue that all owners and Commissioner Selig will continue to monitor closely.


Pete Toms is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network. He can be contacted at \n \n This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?