MLB is attempting to squeeze an International Draft into the CBA

MLB has added an International Draft in it’s pitch to the MLBPA in the middle of the latest round of negotiations. When news broke of the proposed draft in the early hours of Wednesday morning, future Hall of Famer David Ortiz had problems with it.

Please read the full conversation on Twitter, it’s worth it.

While league sources have since leaked out that they’re aiming to start the draft in 2024, the fact that the owners are trying to squeeze more out of the players at the 11th hour, of the league’s third deadline, is incredibly frustrating. It feels like they’re trying to bully the union into accepting a half-assed solution to a very real problem — international free agent signings — by squeezing it into the CBA negotiations.

Again, another Twitter conversation you should really read

Every time the league makes an actual compromise towards the players position they try to squeeze more of what the owners want out of the MLBPA. Or….even worse, they’ve tried to tie it into something that the players have made clear is a major thing they want. In regards to the international draft, the league wants it in exchange for removing the qualifying offer from its free agency process.

For those of you who don’t know what the qualifying offer is, here’s a primer.

Clubs wishing to receive compensatory Draft picks for the loss of a free agent can make a one-year “qualifying offer,” worth the mean salary of MLB’s 125 highest-paid players, to their impending free agents prior to the onset of free agency if and only if:

1. That player has never received a qualifying offer previously in his career.

2. That player spent the entire season on that team’s roster (in-season acquisitions are ineligible).

A player will have 10 days to accept or decline the qualifying offer, during which time he can negotiate with other teams to survey his market value. Should a player decide to accept the qualifying offer, he is signed for the following year at that predetermined rate (i.e., the mean salary of the league’s 125 highest-paid players). If a player rejects the qualifying offer, he is free to further explore the free-agent market

What this means is that players who have been with a team for an entire season, and reject said team’s QO, then come with a lost draft pick when a different franchise signs them. That reduces their market and makes it harder for them to find a contract in free agency. This, on the surface, seems like a great way to get guys to stay with the franchise that drafted and developed them — which is good for the Rays, Pirates, Athletics, etc. — but in reality it suppresses wages by limiting the number of teams that bid on the newly minted free agents.


The players, understandably, want this gone and it was beginning to sound like we’d see meaningful movement from the owners on this topic — which they were previously unwilling to move on. But at the end of the negotiating period they attached the international draft to it and the players have to begin to carefully look at what else they might have added to their CBA proposals.

It’s another piece of evidence that lends credence to what Ross Stribbling told Shi Davidi and Ben Nicholson-Smith after the first two series were “canceled”. MLB keeps adding shit when they think the players aren’t looking which sets negotiations back after leaking positive information to the press so that the league can blame the players for changing their tone.

If we’re going to see baseball in April, the owners are going to have to stop it with creating artificial deadlines so that they can squeeze shit in right before said deadline. The league needs to come to the table and actually put in a good faith effort with their negotiations; because at this point, they aren’t and that is what’s delaying the season.

Update 1:27 PM – MLB’s proposal got comically worse for the union and baseball.

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