Major League Baseball’s proposal for the International Draft received a “No” from the Players Association

Earlier this month, according to The Athlete, Dominican player Juan Soto rejected an offer from the Washington Nationals for 15 years, worth 440 million dollars, which would have made Soto the highest-paid player in the game. Born in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, the 23-year-old was signed by Washington as an amateur free agent in July 2015 when he was still 16, and later helped the national team win the 2019 World Championship.

The franchise may now trade in its superhero looks, but regardless, Soto stands for his big paycheck wherever he goes. It represents the dream pursued by many Latin prospects.

One such example is Christian Garcia. With 32 games in the minor leagues this year, Dominican hitman Christian Garcia has hit 246. Garcia, 18, is currently part of the Los Angeles Angels farm system, playing in the junior-level Arizona Complex. He played in the Dominican Summer League last year after signing with the team.

It’s just two years long ago, when Christian’s father, Miguel Garcia, said he and his son had been shocked by the San Diego Padres, after the team reneged on a verbal agreement with Christian, leaving the young player with no deal and his immediate future in baseball in doubt.

In 2020, Miguel Garcia said, according to A USA Today Sports Report. “Because we made a lot of plans based on this.”

The Garcia family’s 2020 plight is just one snapshot of the complex business facing international non-amateur agents, particularly in talent-rich countries across Latin America, such as the Dominican Republic. International Horizons is not subject to a project like their teenage peers in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The League of Baseball Players this week rejected what it called the league’s “final” proposal for an international draft, meaning a problematic system remains in place.

“The Players Association today rejected what the MLB called its ‘final’ proposal to establish a draft and strict time regime for international arrivals. The players made it clear from the outset that any international project must purposefully improve the status quo for these players and not discriminate unfairly between these players and local arrivals,” she said. MLBPA in a statement.

The international draft was brought up by the League and the Federation in March when a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was agreed upon by both sides.

USA TodayIn Latin America, major league clubs are taking advantage of prospects as young as 12, whistleblowers say to the federation

“I think it should be the same for the Latin player as it is for the American player,” Miguel Garcia said in Spanish via a recent text message, when asked about the MLBPA’s decision.

Another Dominican scout who worked for several major league clubs, who asked not to be named, said the feeling on the island after the MLBPA’s rejection was a relief.

“Most people don’t want (international) conscription,” the Scout said.

There hasn’t been an international draft in professional baseball for decades, and the issue has become a thorny issue for both the league and the league. The rules set by the MLB – no international amateurs can sign deals with major league clubs before the prospect is 16 years old – have been increasingly bent or ignored in recent years as teams aggressively search for the next great baseball talent, and at times pursue prospects in young age. Like 12 and 13.

What can often happen is a verbal arrangement between a senior league team and a coach who helps develop a player or players at a young age. These oral covenants are often forged years before the prospect turns 16, and then when it’s time for the boy to sign, any number of scenarios can be executed, often to the detriment of prospects and their families.

Team budgets are shrinking, with no international pooled funds to sign off on the potential client; The MLB front-office system takes over and rolls back existing verbal deals because the scout or CEO who made the original deal no longer exists; Major league scouts may feel that the prospect has not developed according to the team’s expectations, and they will do away with the verbal ranking altogether, leaving the prospect out in the cold.

“We are clear with clubs, players and their agents that any agreements or understandings prior to the date a player is eligible to sign are completely unenforceable and not recognized by our office,” the MLB said in a statement in 2020. USA Today Sports Report. “This has been our policy for years, and every agent is aware of it. Clubs, agents and players do not communicate these agreements or understandings to us.”

Other dangers include coaches or scouts flinging a potential client’s signature bonus or prospects and their families borrowing at usurious rates, only to be unable to repay those loans at a later date if the verbal deal they agreed to is terminated.

“On the one hand, you have these early deals that were made (between) MLB teams and coaches, with kids between the ages of 12 and 13,” said one veteran Dominican coach, who asked not to be identified. “(Deals) are guaranteed no more than a handshake. Sometimes they keep it, but often they don’t. Imagine the conversation, where you tell a 14-year-old that you have a verbal deal with (the MLB team) for $2 million, only to be Telling you a year or two later that you don’t.

“Teams stay away from these deals just because they can,” the coach added. “If they find someone better or the player doesn’t develop, coaches are left trying to find another team at the last minute, who haven’t (already) committed their money.”

In the latest stalemate, the league and MLB have been unable to find common ground on several issues, including the amount of money spent on the top 600 picks from a proposed 20-round international project. According to multiple reports, MLB offered $191 million while the league wanted $260 million. The other layer of negotiation was the proposal to eliminate draft selection compensation.

The players’ union has long opposed a salary cap, but during the 2016 CBA negotiations, the federation agreed to cap international budgets. The franchise did not improve the signing system for international prospects, however, the Dominican coach said the business had only gotten worse.

“Corruption is very bad,” the coach said. “So bad that some scouts won’t come into your field if you don’t give a bribe. If you make a deal, a percentage of that deal goes to them. The MLB says they want to clean it up, which is why a draft is needed. But they don’t want the same money being spent.” (as) MLB Draft in the United States”

The league created the Coach Partnership Program in 2018, which is designed to “help develop international baseball while addressing important issues in the international market…Participating coaches are required to meet certain MLB criteria, including early registration and drug testing for their players, and they maintain Ongoing dialogue with MLB about international baseball policy.

But if an international draft is ever implemented, it could spell the end of the coaching network altogether in places like the Dominican Republic.

according to the athleteThe league released a statement after the federation rejected the draft international proposal that said in part: “We are disappointed that the MLBPA chose the status quo rather than moving to an international draft that would guarantee future international players greater signing bonuses and better educational opportunities. , while promoting transparency to address the causes.” The root cause of corruption in the current system is better.”

For now, baseball is business as usual throughout Latin America. At least one voice said that the status quo – no international draft – was unfavorable to prospects.

“Now this is like a bad divorce and the children are the victims,” the Dominican coach said.