It seems there will not be an international draft under Major League Baseball’s next collective bargaining agreement. In the final days of negotiations before the current CBA expires Wednesday at midnight, whether or not to implement an international draft starting in 2018 was expected to be a particularly contentious point of disagreement between the players’ association and the league. But according to reports by Ken Rosenthal on Tuesday, the owners have dropped their demands for the draft.
Maybe I was wrong to express cynicism about major leaguers throwing their weight behind amateur opposition to the draft. Perhaps the coalition of Latin American stars—which reportedly included Robinson Canó, José Bautista, Nelson Cruz and Fernando Rodney—convinced the owners to see the error of their ways. Or maybe the league recognized the negotiation tactic, decided they’d save more in the long run by caving on the draft and not the qualifying offers that govern free agency, and called the union’s bluff. Whatever the case, baseball will be much better off without an international amateur draft.