pyridium pills what is ranitidine for babies western drug chloromycetin nexium 40 mg 14 tablets can you get high off bentyl buy cafergot without rx online mexican pharmacies no prescription detrol price canada buy erexin-v boots pharmacy flovent purchase in canada no prescription cost of cholestoplex without insurance amitriptyline combination what class of medication is risperdal erythromycin side effects stomach aripiprazole generic availability where purchase cialis non prescription phexin pharmacy generic acai for sale on line what is antabuse pills used for mevacor weight gain american pulmicort roaccutane quetiapine 100 mg seroquel prilosec prix en pharmacie en france buy generic exelon with bonus actoplus medication overnight delivery generic uk paypal adalat what is flagyl 250mg toradol barato is aspirin better than tylenol for pain what is cipro good for treating 100 premium acai review nizoral order by phone comprar vpxl india cefixime price alavert online cheap generic deltasone us prednisolone tablets buy online clonidine patch reviews aciclovir without a prescription from uk low cost metoclopramide safe to buy generic seroquel from canada asacol dosage forms alli meal delivery pain meds for dogs after surgery keflex 250 mg generico buy tamoxifen citrate liquid prescription order clozaril pill tegretol cr 200 mg mo'dosi'tott hato'anyagleada'su' tabletta gabapentin withdrawal uk can i get cipro in mexico best flovent prices cipro generic 2013 drugs fast atacand delivery fable acheter alliance coumadin and birth control pills toradol drugstore deltasone online shipping comprar viagra pfizer 50 mg avodart online without rx sinequan in usa can i take cold medicine with imitrex revia discount phenergan 10 mg buy generic zyrtec d online anti anxiety medication names australia obagi tretinoin 0.025 uk long time side effects malegra dxt periactin no prescription buy mexican pharmacy no prescription hydrochlorothiazide overnight viagra soft tabs best place buy mentat ds syrup pct desi tashan star plus pratigya buy generic norvasc with bonus cabgolin perth australia generic micardis uk paypal doxycycline shortage substitute recommended iv dose for haldol clomid clomiphene citrate premarin online usa no prescription kamagra chewable canadian pharmacy buy mirapex hong kong cobra 120 erfahrungsberichte generic detrol for sale on line paxil side effects after long term use levitra side effects back pain wspa northwest pharmacy convention brands viagra canada best generic clomid review how to buy propecia in uk buy acyclovir no prescription micardis recommended dosage is lamictal better than depakote can you buy levitra plus in ireland viagra online drug actoplus met generic date comprar allegra d generic relafen switzerland meloxicam for cats warning levitra bayer 10 mg prezzo advair copd exacerbation l-tryptophan in croatia viagra lawsuit settlements to buy prednisolone drug prescription best place to buy live crawfish in austin how to get zenegra drug best zantac prices orlistat dosage where can i get desyrel pills levitra on line no prescription 20mg price best place to buy acivir pills is mail order benemid safe urispas 200 mg 60 tablet quickest flagyl generic seroquel pictures alberta canada pharmacy jobs what is the correct dosage of elimite exelon without prescriptions valtrex comprare amantadine side effects dogs buy nizagara pills online diflucan generic walgreens what is lopid tablets extacy pill identifier uk levaquin medication assistance valtrex price walgreens prandin tablets us online overseas pharmacy no prescription calan purchase digoxin pills lipitor generic release date 2011 is mail order himcolin safe canada combivent lasuna where to get lincocin without script health canada zoloft beat way to order tadalis sx ortho tri cyclen generic brand rumalaya gel online coupon code where florinef acivir canada pharmacy seroquel 25mg tablets buy cheapest kamagra tablets online buy stromectol from india acheter pas cher fertomid buy pilex australia what is maxalt-mlt used for low cost pharmacy online propecia costs uk allopurinol online in us can buy snovitra super power online order actos 145 mg purchase actos online canadian pharmacy where can i buy diclofenac gel zithromax fast usa generic terramycin uk paypal side effects of ayurslim capsules buy nexium online overnight delivery avodart for sale philippines can you order promethazine oxytrol patch reviews aristocort cream 0.02 ordering hyaluronic acid cleocin gel online price can you buy viagra in shops buy dutas 200 purchase luvox cheap aldactone for sale philippines how to use shallaki maxalt 100mg cheap buy rosuvastatin without rx prinivil 10 mg womens nike air max 1 price of propecia in canada tadacip no script cheapest sarafem tablets uk lasix medication for cats buspar online cheap order zyvox canada discount imuran generic reviews buy glycomet online at canada pharmacy renagel pediatric dose tamoxifen australia legal insurance comparison motorcycle coumadin tablets dosage meclizine online without rx buy menosan pills online can you buy serpina over the counter in germany how long to use lamisil for ringworm mr. discount drugs meridian mississippi zyrtec annual sales diovan online cheap ic doxycycline hyclate buy aciphex online pharmacy actos supplier in uk can you order allegra forum membership needed buy flonase online coupon discount cymbalta glyset costco esomeprazole magnesium 40 mg po cpdr canada pet meds free shipping where do i cialis super active in mexico cheap moduretic india pharmacy reliable rx pills net canada cipro online clomid buy xenical new zealand online comprar vpxl en argentina what is levothyroxine sodium synthroid best viagra prices online lowest buy januvia 100 mg motilium 10 mg and breastfeeding what is xenical tablets for vega sildenafil tablets buy calcium carbonate powder australia altace medication high blood pressure common side effects of trileptal where to get acticin pct diuretic pills furosemide cheap lopressor 40 mg menosan order by phone kytril cost canadian real cialis hyaluronic acid online cheap female cialis medicine online unisom from india low cost aricept buy sarafem online no prescription united states paxil canada head office how long does it take for aldactone to work for acne cialis overnite walmart pharmacy celebrex prometrium online pharmacy how long does isoptin take to work what is the active ingredient in nizoral shampoo best price for nexium buy bactrim cheap prescription generic florida alligator newspaper botanical slimming tablets gel cialis pill lokk like female viagra no prrescription cheap cabana 1 pharmacy medrol next day shipping lozol shop net buy brand amoxil online canada diclofenac generic release date buying haridra using paypal can you get suprax over the counter singulair side effects anxiety side effects of amoxicillin during pregnancy pregnancy test calculator on clomid insurance groups explained mentax no prescription compare prices buy keflex from india walmart pharmacy lamisil best site get norvasc tadalis sx generic cmsviaga.com russian pharmacy online uk pharmacy one schedule rx is diarex a prescription drug canadian american discount meds low price cipro uk buy nymphomax 80 mg online fastest doxazosin uk delivery sertralina bula anvisa can your buy cialis super active in ireland how to use alphagan eye drops www.cheap difllucan alli available over counter purchase toradol lowest price co-diovan 160 mg/12.5 mg film-coated tablets where amitriptyline conditions drug information prescription drug sales 2009 what else is januvia used for lipothin discount why has levitra super active been discontinued quiero comprar xeloda where viagra or cialis nifedipine pregnancy side effects antivert supplier in uk medrol dose pack price walmart suprax 40 mg dose cephalexin to buy in australia voltaren tablets nexium generic launch generic viagra reviews forum reorders buy snovitra super power online amazon metoclopramide tablet sale diuretic triamterene side effects xeloda capecitabine dosage buy levaquin with no rx alavert online coupon code misa del padre chelo en vivo where can i buy accutane online yahoo lipothin pill shortage medicine cymbalta australia generic versus brand name lexapro snafi price very cheap nizoral can order mobic canada how long does it take for zyprexa to work use elocon coupon online terramycin plus ointment price price cialis 5mg australia etodolac pills sweat zithromax single dose packet side effects actoplus met usa sale diakof buy online ireland Purchase cephalexin 500mg canada inderal la 60 mg half life valacyclovir 1000 mg dosage for cold sores acne medicine good accutane buy online brand advair diskus generic diarex online pay paypal amantadine generic cost buy viagra jelly 80 mg online can you order serpina original famvir online vytorin tablets for sale lamictal dc 25 mg tablet lamictal dosage depression water pills over the counter side effects herpes valacyclovir dosage synthroid uk brand name 1xtra dancehall alli refill how much does an accutane prescription cost diclofenac sodium dosage pediatric buy alesse 21 discount taking baby aspirin kamagra chewable canada overnight delivery cialis professional fast mexico united pharmacies uk finpecia can you get high on cymbalta 30 mg purchase generic vermox clozaril generic metformin tablets recreational trimix zyvox online pharmacy uk indian cymbalta genuine pulmicort best price aciclovir side effects uk buy cyklokapron where to get alliance faction tabards elimite tablets side effects discover stratford opening times prix du xenical pharmacie 20 mg order aciphex online augmentin 100 mg yan etkileri kamagra brand positioning over the counter ciprodex otic map of medicine back pain overseas pharmacy no prescription midamor buy voltaren 80 mg online comprar baterias lithium silagra 40mg can i import clomid to uk seroquel xr 100mg side effects canadian pharmacy online brand cialis most reliable place to buy risperdal online zoloft shopping on line propecia pharmacy canada cheap drugs online india crestor without food what type of medicine is prednisone apcalis sx bonus pills thuoc atorlip 10 mg long term side effects of penegra purchase sildenafil fluoxetine here cheapest malegra fxt femara order by phone generic drugs online atacand discount medications finax comprare resources for cleocin gel decadron dose pharyngitis periactin phone orders yasmin birth control pills online over the counter antibiotics for uti in dogs can order strattera online can you only get roxithromycin on prescription buy diakof boots pharmacy purchase cafergot on line in australia onde comprar viagra generico no brasil how to prevent anxiety attacks what is green tea plus hoodia good for cheap abilify 2mg licensed premarin delivery cod prescription lipitor us sales 2008 parlodel supplier in uk can promethazine tablets get you high best price for real viagra sublingual canada order cardizem estrace now co uk zovirax manufacturer coupons order antabuse alcohol buy cystone online no prescription us lasix drug interaction acivir 800 dt tablets amantadine women buy l-tryptophan without script buying lotensin from canada no prescription canadian healthcare association (online program) buy avalide without a prescription from canadian pharmacy flagyl er order canada drug rabeprazole side effects comprar atorlip-20 en argentina what is protonix 40 mg buy flagyl online next day delivery can you buy pletal in ireland order aciphex overnight levothroid without prescription canada buy omifin online awccanadianpharmacy.com cost of trazodone per pill ordering levitra professional cialis prescription cheap levaquin 500 mg flagyl drug in usa pharmacy 5 mg cialis india propecia generic can buy zovirax online pharmaceutical companies uk graduate jobs canadian acticin discount free samples non prescription colored contact lenses order generic mevacor what class of drugs is cymbalta class a generic no prescription viagra sex enhancement pills viagra robaxin online order buy fluoxetine boots buy pet medication online no prescription is baclofen a prescription drug brand amoxil drug schedule norstan isoniazid side effects ordering apcalis sx prescription micronase brand positioning where to get clomid cialis visual studio viagra vs levitra which is better where is ataraxia;s haven betamethasone cream uk generic estrace is what suprax medication gonorrhea valtrex side effects shingles pyridium ships from india viagra sin receta en mexico prednisone low dose birth control discount prescriptions without insurance buy motrin usa what drug category is midamor can you buy alavert is pulmicort a prescription drug como comprar viagra na farmacia sem receita order ditropan without prescription best place to order zyban in us bactrim user reviews for acne pletal precio mexico ranitidine online legally admiral insurance company live tv in italian buy actos medication online how to get rid of bactrim rash motilium prices at costco costco pharmacy metoclopramide price pharmacy starting buy accutane online buy minocycline mexican pharmacies elocon online order low cost prandin canadian online pharmacy cipa med cab periactin what is seroflo cheap gyne-lotrimin free delivery minocycline canada can you get tinidazole amaryl generic wikipedia drugs buying benzaclin online buy oxytetracycline online uk buy nizagara without a script can you order promethazine codeine online better than combivent is mail order phenergan safe meloxicam 7.5 mg street value actos without a script lloyds pharmacy jobs edinburgh bystolic over the couter buy aldactone boots pharmacy low price kytril uk buy nimotop boots side effects of taking prednisone for dogs glucotrol xl spain over counter how long does it take for doxycycline to get out of system bystolic available generic form billig cozaar online kaufen sandoz finasteride vs proscar is there a generic version of avodart citalopram overdose symptoms non persciption yasmin aristocort pills tri levlen 28 reviews do i need a prescription for flovent buy cheap aldactone online overnight worldwide pharmacy suhagra valtrex online fastest delivery eurax reviews geriforte syrup for sale australia bystolic for purchase buy zyprexa from canada tadalis sx barato nike air max leopard mens cafergot australia cheap aceon 2 pharmacy can you buy premarin over the counter in germany best place to buy cleocin reviews on nizagara where to buy phexin ointment how much is tricor without insurance plavix tablete 75 mg how to take actonel monthly order malegra fxt buy fluoxetine online reviews claritin over the counter side effects levaquin tablets on line to buy retin a gel discontinued buy viagra uk reviews finasteride stop receding hairline purchase effexor xr on line in usa albendazole side effects acheter mobicarte sur internet can drink alcohol zithromax canadian pharmacy estrace cream how many pills of amitriptyline does it take to overdose order lasuna tablets where to buy lvl 70 pvp gear alliance acheter acai pas cher allegra d generic for sale research grade lincocin diet pills joint pain pariet online bestellen augmenton without a prescription price increase minipress how much does nizoral shampoo cost wellbutrin max daily dose generic wellbutrin sr safe cipro medicine online better than zebeta cost of methotrexate at walmart to buy grifulvin v in uk sinequan without script we are young song buy doxycline 50 mg best prescription anxiety pills big blue pill hzt donde comprar cytotec en usa where to get aristocort celexa dosage increase 40 clomid ovulation predictor calendar can i make singulair to buy deltasone guaranteed worldwide shipping lov cost lopid can you buy amoxicillin over the counter in spain buying ventolin at asda low cost evecare has anyone ever bought viagra online eulexin generic release date what is diclofenac sandoz tablets used for cymbalta from australia keftab with no rx online pharmacy uk didronel purchase acivir pills online avalide price india is tetracycline available in canada do you need rx urispas premarin stopping your medicine escitalopram no prescription uk online pill how do you get viagra without seeing a doctor long term side effects of seroquel overdose generic drug for actonel legal buy zetia online canada steam stats history probalan to buy in england pletal 40 mg pharmacy compazine without a transcript fedex valtrex results forum cost of methotrexate synthroid side effects joint pain neurontin free coupons paroxetine results forum medco mail order pharmacy phone number levitra professional canada no prescription singulair for daily use canada doxycycline hyclate dosage for rosacea what is the normal dose for claritin no prescription cheap price buy lexapro purchase protonix on line in uk diclofenac stada 100mg retard filmtabletta can i order buspar no prescription in the usa all types evista pills sertraline 50 mg para que sirve asacol online uk buy lotrisone 5 buy floxin online no prescription us order bystolic 20 mg reviews on pravachol buy atarax hong kong pills cheap buy ampicillin 200 venlor comprare pharmacy buy drugs proscar acheter zyprexa ligne cost of compazine without insurance order antabuse disulfiram metoclopramide mg tablet diflucan dose for nipple thrush buy marvelon online australia health canada rogaine 2 keppra price in canada cara mengambil pil perancang yasmin cialis super active lawsuit canada viagra super active no prescription acivir no prescription needed nizoral uk brand name nitroglycerin 40 mg dose forzest cost comparison comprar zyban pela internet best time to take benicar medicine order seroflo online in usa antibiotics for sale uk premarin tablets 0.3 mg stromectol 40 mg pharmacy safe buy epivir-hbv online canadian pharmacy dutas buy cialis professional pills in the mexico reminyl pas cher walmart pharmacy jobs utah raloxifene uk buy fertomid boots buy aricept for daily use tadacip online, no prescriptions cytotec malaysia pharmacy buy keppra from mexico online can you buy primatene mist online do you need rx finax cabgolin uk online shuddha guggulu prescription only where can i buy alligator clips haircut urispas cheap buy discount viagra online what is the dosage for mobic block canadian pharmacy spam levothroid medicine online budesonide entocort capsules side effects can buy alli australia metronidazole generic for flagyl arava 20 mg tabletas zofran from web md overseas pharmacy no prescription levitra professional to buy brand advair diskus best mac foundation for dry skin 2011 is maxaman available over the counter there cvs toronto canada patient reviews on cipro where can i buy orlistat tablets zyprexa pills buy online where to purchase amaryllis bulbs what is amlodipine norvasc used for how much is toprol xl tablets didronel medication side effects asacol buy online ireland rumalaya gel uk online lithium tablets and alcohol buy valtrex online order prevacid on line canada buy cheap clomid no prescription clomiphene buy citalopram pills online ceftin without food german remedies pharma-products buy chloromycetin ointment order generic suprax vente de glucotrol xl au quebec can i get minocin where can i buy testosterone enanthate forum desi tashan saraswatichandra written episode fabrica voltaren diovan glucophage price cvs order sinequan pills iui with clomid success rates 2011 safe buy alavert online how long will i have to take metformin for pcos reglan from canadian pharmacy buy sinemet capsules what is allegra 180 used for tetracycline dosage for dogs with lyme disease hydrochlorothiazide cheap buy diclofenac mg online can buy effexor xr online what is bactroban cream 2 used for evecare brand order free or low cost zofran generic diamox switzerland forged alliance build order supreme commander how to get suhagra drug what is dulcolax laxative tablets for eulexin 250 mg precio
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 1548 guests online

Atom RSS

RULE IV DRAFT -- What is the Future of MLB Player Development? PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 9
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?