One of the latest proposals from Major League Baseball is to implement an international prospect draft in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement starting in 2024, as reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN before he was hacked.
"“MLB and the MLBPA agreed that they have until July 25 to reach a deal on an international draft that would start in 2024, a source tells ESPN,” Passan reported via Twitter. “If a deal is reached, the qualifying offer will vanish. If no deal, the QO will return and the international system will remain the same.”"
The Houston Astros, a franchise rich in international talent, have hit on low-cost, high-reward options over the last 10 years in Luis Garcia, Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier, to name a few.
The beauty of the international signing period is offering the highest signing bonuses to the players that fit your organization’s scheme.
There is more scouting and discussions that build relationships with players and their families before signing with their future club. One of the Astros’ most recent high-priced international free agent signings was Pedro Leon, who Houston sees as an option not only in the outfield but on the left side of the infield.
Current and retired players have put down this idea on social media over the last couple days, including catcher Martin Maldonado, who agreed with San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.
Astros catcher Martin Maldonado is not onboard with an international draft.
The Major League Baseball Draft includes players from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, so consequently, Maldonado was a selection in the 2004 draft by the Los Angeles Angels. On a different note, Tatis was not drafted and was signed as amateur free agent in 2015.
Although on different sides to the starts of their career, they both are against an international draft.
"“The International Draft is going to kill baseball in (the Dominican Republic),” Tatis told El Caribe. “It’s going to affect us a lot, because there will be many young people who used to (get) the opportunity to get a bonus, and with the draft, it will not be the same.”"
Maldonado agreed with Tatis on his Twitter account Wednesday, before deleting it.