On Thursday afternoon the owners and players association representatives got together to talk for the first time in nearly six weeks as they attempt to work towards a new collective bargaining agreement. While there was a lot of things that were proposed by Major League Baseball’s ownership group, three of the things directly effected the minor league players or the amateur player process.
When it comes to the draft, both the players and the owners have now made proposals that would include a draft lottery, similar to what the NBA has, where the worst team doesn’t necessarily get the top pick, but the group of X number of teams enter into a lottery for the picks. The players proposal was for the top eight picks to be a lottery, while Thursday’s proposal from the owners was for the top three picks according to reporting from Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers of ESPN. Teams would also be ineligible to be in the top three picks three consecutive seasons.
Another draft related note is that the owners offered up an additional draft pick as a reward to teams who have a rookie in the big leagues for the full season who wins the rookie of the year or the top three of the MVP or Cy Young award within the players first three seasons. The catch here is that the rookie in question also has to be a prospect that would be rated as a top 100 or top 150 prospect (there are two reports out there on this, with one saying top 100 and another saying top 150) in order to qualify. Which prospect list would need to be made isn’t specified.
There are a lot of issues with this proposal that are immediately at the forefront here – MLB creates a prospect list of their own, but even if the reliance of this plan is on lists from other sources, so much of the information that goes into those lists are based on the opinions and information supplied by MLB scouts, front office employees, and coaches in the minor leagues (who are MLB employees). Not to mention that MLB.com writers are mostly, if not all a part of the BBWAA and get to vote on the MVP and Cy Young Awards. There’s a conflict of interest here.
Along with that “additional pick” proposal, the ownership group also included an international draft. That is something that the owners have been looking at changing for at least the last decade but haven’t been able to make happen.