While there has not been much activity surrounding the Dodgers in recent days, an interesting development occurred this week with regards to MLB’s 2020 amateur draft—the powers that be are considering cancelling the event altogether.
Ronald Blum of the Associated Press was among the first to report the news on Wednesday.
Specifically, Blum stated that “Major League Baseball is considering skipping its amateur draft this year and putting off the next international signing period as a way to preserve cash while games are affected by the new coronavirus.”
Indeed, teams are in jeopardy of losing TONS of money regardless of how long the regular season turns out to be. While some clubs might have the financial means of signing an unspecified number of draft choices, other smaller market teams might not have those same resources.
As it stands, pundits are not offering any type of guesstimate as to when a regular season could even begin.
As far as the players themselves go, both high school and collegiate seasons around the country have been cancelled across the board weeks ago. Some college teams in the cooler regions of the country only played a handful of games. There are some high school clubs that did not compete at all.
Without a draft, many graduates at both levels might conceivably find themselves out of baseball for an undisclosed period time unless some type of free agency window is created. Even in this case, the number of signings could be limited.
In a recent Baseball America column, a prominent agent said he heard ideas of a combine taking place, similar to what occurs in the National Football League.
“I have heard of an NFL-type draft combine for the top 300 or however many players in June,” the agent said. “Just to get some type of look on guys… Do they push the draft back to August and turn the Cape into basically a month long or a six-week long kind of pre-draft tryout similar to the PDP League (for high schoolers)? Who knows? Everything is on the table.”
Blum wrote that talks between management and the players’ association are ongoing and include the issue of major league service time, which determines eligibility for free agency and salary arbitration in upcoming seasons. MLB has proposed crediting full service for 130 games or more and proportional service for a shorter season.
Blum also mentioned that “the union has taken the position that a full season of service might be credited even if no games are played.”
Just imagine how much the Mookie Betts deal could affect the Dodgers if the 2020 season turns out to be a wash.
The draft is tentatively scheduled to be held June 10-12 in Omaha.
Stay tuned for more details as they develop.