Bud Selig doesn’t make the decision himself. But he said strongly Wednesday that when the next Collective Bargaining Agreement expires in 2011, he wants hard slots for the draft and an international draft to be part of the equation.
Speaking on ESPN Radio’s "Mike & Mike" show, co-hosted today by ESPN baseball writer Buster Olney, Selig answered a question about the international draft by saying he wants one, and threw in hard slotting—as opposed to the current system, where the commissioner’s office recommends slots but has no real enforcement mechanism—as part of the equation.
"That’s one that there’s no debate in my mind," Selig said. "We need an international draft, and we need slotting. There is no question about it. I’ve had many clubs on all sides, small-market, big-market, medium-market—we’re going to have slotting, and we’re going to have an international draft. Those will be two of our great priorities in 2011. There’s no question about it. We need that. That is one that really exacerbates the differences (between organizations)."
Selig answered a question likening a new baseball draft slotting system to the NBA’s rookie wage scale by adding, "That’s correct." That implies he’s for hard slots, where before the draft every club knows what its assigned signing bonus would be for every pick. Of course two major differences are the NBA slots only for the first round and has just two rounds of its draft, and NBA teams rosters half the size of baseball with nominal minor leagues in the NBA Developmental (or more commonly "D") League.
Still, Selig laid out his platform, consistent with other statements he’s made on the subject. It sounds like, for once, the scouting and player development side will be a prominent part of the CBA negotiations.
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