Major League Baseball’s current collective bargaining agreement expires on December 1. The owners and the players’ union have been in the process of negotiating a new one, but one sticking point has been the owners’ insistence on instituting an international draft. The players’ union, of course, does not want to concede on this issue because it is a way for international players’ labor to be exploited.
ESPN’s Marly Rivera reports that Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano and outfielder Nelson Cruz, free agent outfielder Jose Bautista, and free agent reliever Fernando Rodney will attend the bargaining session to speak out against establishing an international draft.
An international draft would likely work like the current amateur draft with the international players being thrown into a pool and then selected one at a time by the 30 teams. The players would likely be under team control for at least six years before being eligible for free agency, meaning the owners would be able to get even more relatively cheap labor while the international players would be missing out on many millions of dollars.
The owners insisted on the international draft as a concession from the players in exchange for abolishing the qualifying offer system. The QO system has impeded free agents in their quest to find an appropriate contract.