MLB, MLBPA form a committee to talk about an international draft

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One of the things the owners wanted in this latest CBA but didn’t get was an international draft.  The logistics of it just seemed really difficult, though, and ultimately they settled for a cap on signing bonuses for international free agents.

The sports business people are reporting this morning, however, that the league and the union have formed a committee that will meet twice a month to discuss international talent acquisition and a possible future international draft.  Kevin Goldstein passes along word that the committee will also discuss arrangements with Mexico, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Hope they don’t get rid of the posting system. I mean, it’s awful, but it gives us a lot to write about, and that’s what’s important.

Anyway, the committee will be staffed by MLB’s Rob Manfred, union head Michael Weiner, union exec and former player Tony Clark, Sandy Alderson, Andrew Friedman, Kim Ng, Rick Shapiro and Stan Javier.  Some fairly big hitters there, so you get the sense that everyone is taking it seriously.

As always, however, don’t expect speed from a baseball committee.

The Marlins made an empty threat. Giancarlo Stanton made an empty promise.

Associated Press
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I covered the main press conference about Giancarlo Stanton earlier, but afterward he and his agents fanned out to various TV shows, radio shows and reporter scrums from which some new, fun things have spun out. Part of what they’ve talked about is silly and meaningless, part of it just meaningless.

Here’s the silly and meaningless, from a Marlins official, apparently, trying to bully Stanton into accepting either the Giants or the Cardinals trades despite the fact that he told them beforehand that he was not willing to go to either of those teams:

This is silly because it comes off like a threat. Like the worst possible thing that can happen to a guy is to stay with the very team that is making the threat. It’s like telling your wife that if she does not leave you, she’s stuck with you forever.

It’s meaningless too, in that Stanton has an opt-out clause after 2020. If the Marlins could not make a trade Stanton would approve, he’d simply collect close to $90 million and then leave at age 30. Oooh, don’t throw me into that briar patch, Mr. Jeter!

Not that Stanton’s people are offering statements of serious gravitas. His agent was asked about Stanton’s opt-out rights, which he retains even though he’s now with the Yankees:

That may very well be true! He just got here and everything is going great so far. It’s totally empty, of course, because anything can happen between now and the fall of 2020. If the big time free agents of the next two years sign for the sort of money that makes Stanton look underpaid, he’ll certainly opt-out, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees. Ask Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia how that works. The opt-out clause is pure, unadulterated leverage for a player and unless he totally craters over the next three seasons he’ll most certainly use it, regardless of present desires.

Which, hey, that’s how things work when a big trade or free agent signing happens. Everyone who has lost looks bad and everyone who won sounds happy. Then, later, the baseball happens.