Latin American Stars Sign Petition Opposing International Draft

If Major League Baseball is planning an international draft, it’s going to need the approval of the Players’ Association to do so.

According to a petition collected by four prominent representatives of Latin American amateur players, the majority of Latin American big leaguers do no support an international draft.

During spring training last year, Amauris Nina, Nelson Montes de Oca and Astin Jacobo from the International Prospect League in the Dominican Republic and Jose Montero of Venezuela traveled around Florida and Arizona to meet with Latin American players on 40-man rosters and asked them to sign a petition stating their opposition to an international draft. The petition was sent to the MLBPA, a copy of which was obtained by Baseball America.

The group collected more than 150 signatures and features some of the game’s biggest stars, including Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez, Elvis Andrus, Mariano Rivera, Carlos Gonzalez, Edwin Encarnacion, Pablo Sandoval, Carlos Santana and Hanley Ramirez. Prominent Cuban players like Yoenis Cespedes, Kendrys Morales and Leonys Martin all signed the petition. So did several players from Puerto Rico, including Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina, even though Puerto Rico is already subject to the June draft.

For MLB to begin an international draft in 2014, it must submit its plans in writing to the MLBPA by Saturday, after which the union has until June 15 to either accept or veto the plan. The two sides have already been meeting to discuss plans through the International Talent Committee, which includes representatives of the commissioner’s office and the union, although none of them work in international scouting or represent international amateur players.

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