Getty Images

Scott Boras clients will not attend the MLBPA spring training camp

10 Comments

Last night we heard that the MLBPA is serious about going forward with a spring training camp for free agents. A few minutes ago Ken Rosenthal and Jerry Crasnick filled in some details about it:

If Boras’ clients sit out, it’s not hard to imagine that other free agents of at least moderate profile will sit out too, choosing instead to work out on their own and leaving Camp Free Agent an affair for fringe players and backup types. Not training after MLB camps begin could present some risk, as teams may use the excuse that “so-and-so is behind the training curve this spring” and not extend an offer, but it’s not like it’s the 1930s and these guys aren’t working out on their own as it is. The teams know this as well.

There is also, of course, risk to going to this training camp and sustaining a major injury in game play or simulated game play mode while not under contract. I’m sure the guys who go to this camp will have some sort of insurance arrangement, either through the MLBPA or on their own, but it’s still as risk.

Rosenthal adds, however, that there will at least be some support offered to the guys who hit the MLBPA camp. Moral support:

Some high-fives and photo-ops won’t get those guys a job, but maybe it’ll make them feel less isolated.

UPDATE: More details:

Major League Baseball to launch an elite league for high schoolers

Getty Images
3 Comments

This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.

The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.

As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.