Sandy Alderson, who was recently hired as a consultant to reform Major League Baseball's Dominican Republic office, met with the Dominican Republic's Sports Minister, Felipe Payano, its Commissioner of Baseball, Porfirio Veras, scouts and other baseball officials last week at a Santo Domingo hotel to discuss the state of baseball on the island, according to various reports.
There were no specific agreements made regarding the sport, however, Alderson told journalists that the country will remain a priority and a top-tier source of talent for Major League Baseball.
Since taking on the job in March, Alderson has said his goal is to clean up baseball on the island, tackling issues such as steroids, age and identity fraud, skimming and the operations of independent scouts/trainers -- known as "buscones" -- on the island. Players and their buscones protested outside of the hotel during the meeting, in part because they are concerned about the institution of a world-wide draft.
"If we don't clean up the abuses, I think there's a very strong likelihood there will be a draft," Alderson told Yahoo! "People will throw up their hands and consider it the solution to intractable problems. Often, the issue of a draft is driven more emotionally by a reaction to abuses than it is about any sort of logical extension of the existing system. I'm not looking to reduce the number of players signed. I'm not looking to reduce the size of signing bonuses. I'm not looking to introduce a draft down here, which is the gorilla in the room for many people."
It is Alderson's plan to work closely with MLB's Department of Investigations and local governments on the island.
"It's trying to convince people of what the mission here is and that my goal is really a constructive one," Alderson told the web site. "I'm here to preserve what baseball and the Dominican Republic have while, at the same time, eliminating those problems that cast baseball, and the Dominican Republic itself, in a negative way. Baseball is the international identity of the Dominican Republic. It's important for them, and I think they agree with this, that their reputation is as positive as possible."
At Alderson's behest, the Major League Scouting Bureau is helping prepare reports on amateurs with the idea of giving scouts impartial observations on players. The reception has been mixed. A report in the Dominican Republic's El Dia newspaper said buscones have refused to show their players to the bureau. As a result, Major League Baseball did not allow a Dominican Prospect League game to be played at the Giants' complex, ESPN Deportes wrote.
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.