By Jake Greenberg

The New York Yankees are just one of many teams who may have cheaply gained some superstar, major league ready talent in previous years. Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes, and many other players over the past 10 to 15 years have came over to america, and signed humongous contracts with big league clubs. The only flaw in the system is that a player, who could be eligible to enter the MLB Draft can choose to avoid this process, and sign with the team of their choice, which for top-talents will most likely be large-market teams, due to the fact that the current draft format only permits citizens of the US, Canada, or US territories to be drafted. Under the current draft format, MLB teams get to choose from a pool of collegiate, and high school athletes who to pick, and if a player and the team that drafts him aren’t able to complete a deal by a deadline, the player will be reentered into the pool for the following year, and the team who previously selected him gets a composition pick at the end of the 1st round of the following draft. Just think what the future of the Astros franchise would look like at this point, had they been able to land Yu Darvish in the 1st round of last years draft. The draft only takes place with Americans at this point, while many of these guys coming from overseas are establishing themselves as some of the games top players. There is simply no explanation for why the Top Prospect from Cuba, or Japan, or the Dominican Republic isn’t eligible for the draft, even if they are the same age as all of the other players going to the draft.

For all we know, Oakland Athletics superstar outfielder Yoenis Cespedes may not have fallen into the hands of the A's if it weren't for the absense of an international draft

For all we know, Oakland Athletics superstar outfielder Yoenis Cespedes may not have fallen into the hands of the A’s if it weren’t for the absence of an international draft

Teams like the Astros, Twins, or Pirates have franchises that look to have a gloomy next half-decade in front of them, and the way to turn that around is by adding these superstar talents into the draft.┬áThe small market teams have absolutely no chance at guys like Darvish, when the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers will pay more than $50 million more, while also offering the opportunity to win the World Series immediately. If I were a player coming over to the US, there is absolutely no chance that I am going to sign with the Astros, or Marlins, because you are basically taking a pay cut, while sacrificing the chance at a postseason birth. Meanwhile, Commissioner Bud Selig is giving the United States’ premier homegrown players no option to chose their path in the MLB. Last June, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Cuban Outfielder Yasiel Puig to a hefty, long-term contract. One of the most highly regarded Cuban-born players at the time of the signing, Puig now finds himself as a symbol of the future for the Dodgers. Everybody is well aware that the Dodgers are rich, but should they have been allowed to swoop Puig away from other small market teams, due to the fact that they could out-pay them. If the MLB is letting these foreign born players have so much freedom to choose what team they want to play for, resulting in a larger contract as teams try to outdo each others offers, then why shouldn’t Steven Strasburg have been a Free Agent in 2009, and why shouldn’t Bryce Harper have gotten to chose the team he played for in 2010? Japan its best class of players ever just years away from pitching on the big stage, and if the draft format continues, then 100 MPH teenage phoneome Shohei Otani, to go along with the two best pitchers currently pitching in the NBL, (Nippon Baseball League) Kenta Maeda, and Masahiro Tanaka will all end up coming to the MLB with huge contracts, and will be pitching for big marker teams. If a small market team went in to attempt at signing one of these guys, they would struggle to pay the Japanese clubs a high enough negotiating fee, let alone sign the player to an expensive contract. This draft format is selling the teams struggling to bring fans in to the ballpark each night short, by eliminating them from any possible MLB ready talent that could bring excitement to the fans. The Marlins are struggling to match there attendance from 2011 in 2013, and it will only get worse is Selig prevents them from rebuilding with the best talent available. If the Marlins end up granting Giancarlo Stanton his trade wishes, then the franchise will be threatened, and struggle to generate enough income to even pay a team. If Bud Selig is really in support of these franchises turning their gruesome seasons around, he has to do his part in expanding the draft internationally.

 

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