Baseball America’s International Guru Ben Badler talks about a new rule change just put in place regarding International Prospects today.
MLB sent teams a memo Tuesday stating that, effective today, international players are not allowed to be at a team facility until they are 16 years old or until six months before they become eligible to sign, whichever comes first. That means most players who become eligible to sign on July 2, 2015 won’t be able to enter a team’s Dominican academy—a vital component for teams to be able to evaluate players—until Jan. 2, 2015. For players who turn 16 between September and December, they will be allowed to go to a team facility once they turn 16. The only exceptions to that rule will be if a player participates in an event sponsored by MLB, such as an MLB-sanctioned league or showcase, or is part of the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program.
This may be an attempt to cut down on the already illegal, but almost always allowed in the past early agreements between players and teams. Some believe it is a way to cut down on the amount of influence the buscones/trainers have internationally in how players are essentially shopped around.
It’s an interesting rule change and just another step towards, what I believe, is a worldwide international draft that is just around the corner.
While it’s been out there for a while that the Dayton Dragons were being sold, the deal is official now. The new ownership group is the second ownership group since the team was created in 1999 (playing their first game in 2000). The team was sold to Palisades Arcadia Baseball LLC by Mandalay Baseball Properties for a reported $40M. The group is led by three men, one of whom is also a limited partner with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Dan Weigel at Minor League Ball has up an article on Robert Stephenson titled “Looking past the stat line“. I made an appearance in the comments section to address an issue within the article that seemed to alleviate a bit of the concern that the author had.
The minor league season is winding down. Several of the teams are still fighting for the playoffs though. Here’s a quick rundown of the teams and their playoff situation.
|Team||W/L||Games Back||Elimination #||Notes|
|Louisville||64-68||9||4||7 games back in the division, 9 in the wild card.|
|Pensacola||23-36||12||Eliminated||Didn’t qualify in either half.|
|Bakersfield||28-30||N/A||N/A||Won the first half – In the playoffs.|
|Dayton||28-30||N/A||N/A||Currently 1 game up for the wild card spot. 2.5 games back for the “2nd half division” spot. 12 games left.|
|Billings||14-9||N/A||N/A||Currently in 1st place, 3 games up. 15 games left.|
|AZL Reds||8-11||9||1||Didn’t qualify in the 1st half.|
A lot of the above is self explanatory, but the Dayton Dragons situation is different. There are 16 teams in the league, and they play two halves with two divisions. Each half the first and second place teams in each division qualify for the playoffs. In the division the Dragons are in, the two teams at the top are the same two that finished there in the first half, so currently the 3rd place and 4th place teams would get the two spots for the second half. The Dragons are in 4th place right now, but it’s good enough to get them into the playoffs if the season were to end today.
Warning: My own rant follows – You don’t need to read it as it doesn’t exactly apply to the system, but more so me and the website
One thing I have been asked about many times on the website about, and something I’ve often thought of in terms of adding another possible revenue stream to the site is selling photos of the players. After trying to get in touch with Minor League Baseball for nearly a year (somehow, in 2014, they don’t provide an email address for you to contact them at, but you must call the New York office – which I had done several times and each time gotten the voicemail and no return call or email since I left an email address too), I was able to finally get in touch with the right person. Unfortunately, I will not be allowed to sell photos to consumers. I would only be allowed to sell them to other news services or directly to the teams to sell in their stores or online. Funny enough, I was also informed that MiLB does not grant licensing for only online stores. In 2014, Major League and Minor League Baseball requires you to have an actual storefront in order to give them a whole bunch of money to put a sticker on your product and sell it. There’s always the legal workaround of offering “Fine Art Prints”, but that comes with it’s own set of difficulties (they must be individually numbered, signed by the photographer, limited in print run to 125 or fewer) and would be a lot more expensive. A little frustrating how that all works out.