Scott Boras proposes posting fees for minor leaguers

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Ken Rosenthal passes on a bright idea from Scott Boras: a minor league posting system:

Each team would protect a set number of players: 40, the current number, or maybe even 45. Every other player in a club’s farm system would be available through a blind posting process similar to the arrangement baseball maintains with Japanese clubs.

In Boras’ vision: A prospect-rich team such as the Royals could sell off unprotected young players in return for money they could redirect toward free major-league agents. A club deep in young pitchers, but not position players, could use the process to create more balance, selling one type of player and buying another. If a team preferred to keep a player another club wanted, it would match the posting price and send the money back the other way.

I agree with Rosenthal’s assessment: interesting, but there just isn’t the kind of talent off of 40-man rosters to justify creating that kind of system. I mean, sure, ideally each team is totally aware of all of the talent available or potentially available, but if you get into posting all of the minor leaguers, teams will have to put a hell of a lot more money and effort into tracking these guys. I just don’t see how the reward will outweigh the necessary cash outlay.

Also, given what we’ve seen from some teams in terms of hording cash and going low-money on amateur signings, I don’t think we want to create any system under which a team can sell off young talent like this. What are the odds that the money gained on posting fees would be plowed into free agency? Pretty low in some cities, I imagine.

Fun, but no thanks.