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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Griffin: Ash’s ideas a solid start to fixing flaws

We’re not selling GordAsh jeans here!

One of the big proponents of draft change, dating back to when he was GM of the Jays, is Milwaukee Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash, who lists three prime areas to address to salvage the draft long-term:

Reduction from 50 rounds to 25

“I can see where maybe you might want to graduate to that, cut it to 40, then to 30, then to 25,” Ash said. “I know other sports don’t have the minor-league systems that we have, but God Almighty, 50 rounds? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Draft to include internationals

“Even though the last couple of big international signings have been by smaller-market clubs, traditionally speaking we have not been available to avail ourselves of that level of talent,” Ash said. “The Brewers have focused pretty solely on the draft and have done pretty well. We don’t even look at Chapman because we can’t even go there (financially).

“Some people talk about having a parallel international draft, but then you’re creating two No. 1 overall picks and I’m not sure you want to be doing that. The side benefit (with a universal draft) to me is that some of the players that get over-drafted in the U.S. and Canada might go down a little bit.

“By and large, most of the Latin-American guys are moderately priced guys. I don’t think that’s an issue there. There’s all kinds of abuse and it’s getting worse. They are now into the point of doing DNA testing. It’s more because they just can’t prove identity and age. Even official records are available for a price and they’re starting to find that out now.”

Repoz Posted: January 31, 2010 at 02:55 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, business, international, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

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   1. jwb Posted: January 31, 2010 at 08:18 PM (#3451195)
They are now into the point of doing DNA testing. It’s more because they just can’t prove identity and age. Even official records are available for a price and they’re starting to find that out now.
Certainly this is and has been a problem for a long time. Tany Perez, anyone? Do we have his actual date of birth? How will having them eligible for the draft fix this?

The buscones will find ways around this, you can bet on that. For example, the Rule 4 draft is for amateurs only. Set up a semi-pro league, pay the 15 year-old players peanuts, and you're right back where you started.
   2. Zipperholes Posted: January 31, 2010 at 10:40 PM (#3451249)
Reduction from 50 rounds to 25

“I can see where maybe you might want to graduate to that, cut it to 40, then to 30, then to 25,” Ash said. “I know other sports don’t have the minor-league systems that we have, but God Almighty, 50 rounds? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Why? Teams aren't required to participate for all 50 rounds; they consciously choose to. Is he saying MLB needs to protect teams from foolishly wasting resources on players?

Some people talk about having a parallel international draft, but then you’re creating two No. 1 overall picks and I’m not sure you want to be doing that. The side benefit (with a universal draft) to me is that some of the players that get over-drafted in the U.S. and Canada might go down a little bit.

What's the problem with two No. 1 picks? And again, his thinking is just senseless. If teams feel certain players, whether U.S.-born or whatever round they're picked in, are a net loss, they won't draft them and pay their asking price.

"Baseball needs to adopt the NHL rule where if you're drafting underage players (high schoolers) you retain the rights,"

Ash also suggests an opt-in registration for players saying that, if drafted, they will sign.

These are good ideas in principle, but what's the incentive for teams to spend $ in this system?
   3. Walt Davis Posted: February 01, 2010 at 12:54 AM (#3451281)
If you had two separate drafts and used the same* draft order, you could have a substantial impact on competitive balance -- the Nationals might have been able to draft both Strasburg and Chapman in the same year.** Creating long-term competitive balance is the main purpose of the draft.

Of course a vitally important question for our northern neighbours is whether Canada would become "international" or remain "domestic." (Puerto Rico too.)

*I can't remember if they still do the alternating #1 overall pick between leagues or not. If so, then the worst NL team could get the #1 in one draft, the worst AL team the #1 pick in the other and just alternate from year to year. The worst team would still get #1 in one draft, #2 in the other.

**Whether they'd want to spend that kind of money in one draft is an interesting question but doesn't necessarily matter a lot -- so maybe the Nationals would have had to decide which of the two they prefer and grab some cheaper high-level talent with their other pick.
   4. Zipperholes Posted: February 01, 2010 at 02:20 AM (#3451315)
You make valid points. Can't say the same for Ash, who just states conclusions without explaining his reasoning, and Griffin, who fails to fill in these gaps from the interview with any insight whatsoever.

Anyway, that seems like a pretty trivial reason not to have an international draft (whether it should be combined with the amateur draft is a separate argument). I'm sure a fair draft order can be figured out, and the potential problems of the current FA system would seem to outweigh any unfairness in draft order.

One possibility is the status quo order for the regular draft, then for the international draft, pick in descending order by division place. So the best last place team picks #1, and the worst last place team picks #6. This would obviously need to be worked out but you get the idea.
   5. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 01, 2010 at 03:14 AM (#3451337)
I can't remember if they still do the alternating #1 overall pick between leagues or not.


They do not, which is why the Rays and Nationals were able to get the #1 overall pick in consecutive years.

As to the article:

I'd like to see a reduction in the number of draft rounds, but I think that's difficult without a radical reorganization of the affiliated minors (something that is IMO overdue anyway).

I don't like the idea of an international draft, but that's probably coming anyway. maybe as soon as the next CBA. Having the international players in the regular draft is probably a better idea than a separate draft' they'll be valued more fairly.

As far as being able to hold onto the rights to a drafted HS player: I seriously doubt that would have much impact at all, and it's unfair to the late bloomers like Strasburg (who wasn't even drafted out of HS). I'd compromise in this manner - go back to the old rule where a team had a year to sign a player, and do away with the old exception on attending a college class.

-- MWE
   6. Walt Davis Posted: February 01, 2010 at 07:54 AM (#3451399)
Anyway, that seems like a pretty trivial reason not to have an international draft

Actually I think giving crappy teams a chance to get two "#1" type talents in one draft is a positive. I can't see the big market teams being too happy about it though and I'd imagine that they'd have a single draft.

they'll be valued more fairly.

As in you think the teams would lowball the international guys?
   7. rlc Posted: February 01, 2010 at 10:59 AM (#3451408)
They are now into the point of doing DNA testing.

The buscones will find ways around this, you can bet on that.


Long face. 60 chromosomes strong like bull.
   8. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 01, 2010 at 12:50 PM (#3451420)
As in you think the teams would lowball the international guys?


No, they won't overpay them. Big difference.

-- MWE

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