Players available in each year’s Draft class hail from the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico. If the powers that be have their way, however, that could all change as early as 2012.
Commissioner Bud Selig has stated on more than one occasion his support for both a hard slotting system for Draft bonuses and a Draft that would be open to amateur players from every nation.
“There’s no question in my mind, in 2011, certainly a [hard] slotting system and a worldwide Draft are things we will be very aggressive in talking about,” Selig said soon after this past Draft’s signing deadline in August.
Is such an international Draft at all tenable? Is it realistic to imagine that there’s a way to bring all of the baseball-playing nations under one Draft umbrella? …
The league typically cites a litany of problems when arguing in favor of the international draft, including concerns of age fraud, exploitation of the players by buscones, rampant corruption and overall cost. I’ve written at length on these issues before, and the chief thing to take away from it is that when it comes to talking about an international draft, the league tries to conflate all of these issues into one giant problem that is inherent in international free agency when, in fact, they are many separate issues, most of which could be solved without the institution of an international draft. …