Major League Baseball will not implement an international draft in 2014, it was announced Friday. The idea will not be revisited until the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after the 2016 season, a source told MLB.com.
The MLB Players Association and Major League Baseball had until June 1 to create a plan for the draft but agreed to table the talks one day before the deadline.
"The Office of the Commissioner and the Players Association have discussed various issues regarding international amateur players, including the possibility of an international draft," MLB said in a statement. "While both parties discussed an international draft, an agreement was not reached on some of the mechanics and procedures related to such a draft. Thus, an international draft will not be implemented in 2014. The parties intend to continue to discuss international amateur talent issues, and the current system of international talent acquisition as described in the Collective Bargaining Agreement will remain in place at this time."
MLB's International Talent Committee, which was created as part of the current CBA, has been discussing the possibility of an international draft, how international amateur players are eligible to be signed and other regulations for international amateur players' agents since January. How Cuban players should be treated due to their political realities was also among the topics discussed.
"At this time, the players are not prepared to accept an international draft," MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner said. "The MLBPA will continue to discuss with players and the Commissioner's Office the many issues facing its international members."
In accordance with the CBA, each club was allotted $2.9 million to spend on the international market in the signing period that began last July 2. This July's international signing period will work similar to last year's, but the amounts that clubs will be allowed to spend is based on their records in the 2012 season. The pools will range from just under $4.25 million for the Astros, who had the lowest winning percentage, to just under $1.15 million for the Nationals, who had the highest winning percentage.
Each team is allotted a $700,000 base. In addition to that base, the team gets a signing bonus pool that is made up of four slot values, based on its 2012 record. Additionally, clubs will be allowed to trade pool money.
Like last year, there are exemptions. Clubs can sign six players for bonuses of $50,000 or less, and those do not count against the pool. All bonuses of $10,000 or less are also exempt.
The international signing guidelines do not apply to players who previously signed a contract with a Major or Minor League club, nor do they apply to players who are least 23 years old and have played as a professional in a league recognized by the Commissioner's Office for a minimum of five seasons. Cuban players who are at least 23 and have played in a Cuban professional league for three or more seasons are also exempt.