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  1. What’s the point of rooting for the Nats, Rays, Pirates etc. now that they have no shot of coming up with ways to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox?

    Comment by David — November 22, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

  2. It seems disingenuous to imply that the Yankees haven’t been big spenders internationally, given that they have given big bonuses to the Monteros and Sanchezes of the world. Indeed, the Yankees had been diversifying their risk portfolios by purchasing cheaper talent that was more heavily scouted (the Yankees have long invested in international academies) at the expensive of the higher-profile flops like Ynoa.

    Comment by The Fallen Phoenix — November 22, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

  3. Holy crap this looks very very bad for baseball going forward. This has to go away so fast no one remembers it even happened.

    Comment by Ben — November 22, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

  4. well, that’s a downer…

    Comment by Josh — November 22, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

  5. wahhhhhhhhhhh

    Comment by Jack — November 22, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

  6. Hey we can still have that magical 1 year run where we make the playoffs, inflate parity numbers, and make the system look fair. Meanwhile the Yankees make the playoffs 9 years out of 10.

    Apparently the intent is to force teams to spend on MLB payroll without giving low revenue teams any means of actually competitively doing so.

    Comment by PiratesHurdles — November 22, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

  7. They also made it highly unlikely that the big market teams can get elite talent in the Amateur Draft. The overslot penalties are steep, and they really want players to get drafted in order of talent rather than signability.

    The big market teams, such as the Yankees, Red Sox, and Philles, now have little to no chance of drafting elite talent in this scenario. In the past, the only chances they had of getting the elite players, because they’ve been good for such a long time and have been drafting at the end of the first round, was to hope teams would pass on the high bonus demands in favor of more signable players. Or just hope for exceptionally deep talent pools.

    Without bonus demands, players now have zero leverage, especially the college seniors who can go no where else. At least juniors and high school seniors have another year of eligibility or scholarships.

    Really, the owners’ pockets are getting helped a lot here, and that was never a worry with the Steinbrenners, who are now limited to how much they can spend on amateur talent, just like everyone else is.

    I understand what you’re saying about the big market teams, but even they try building through the amateur pipeline.

    Comment by Frank Campagnola — November 22, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

  8. Nats can actually support a big payroll, I wouldnt include them in this list.

    Comment by Nik — November 22, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  9. Too much regulation

    Comment by G. Oak — November 22, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  10. Well this is a silly article.

    How does this penalize the small market teams? How often do you really think they overslot as opposed to big market teams?

    This hurts the big market teams the most from over-slotting on their top picks to guarantee them.

    Further, the limits to bonuses for international players probably means that their asking prices will come down, which should help small-market teams.

    Comment by AndyS — November 22, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  11. I agree with the exception that the Nationals are not a “low-revenue” team. They are, despite their horrid record, a mid-revenue team that’s about to get a substantial bump in TV revenues and an increase in payroll to match.

    On your major point, what Selig doesn’t get or doesn’t care about is that this trying to address revenue disparities through the draft only hurts the game. Including Puerto Ricans in the draft almost killed the game on the island by hastening the migration of elite athletes to basketball and even volleyball. (Really.) It assumed a HS/Travel Team infrastructure similar to that in the States that simply didn’t exist.

    Now, the hard slot in all but name will drive elite athletes to other sports here in the USA.


    Comment by Roberto — November 22, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  12. Hey, what’s important is that more money will go to the current union members. If amateurs and international free agents wanted more of a piece, they should have joined the union.

    Comment by Kevin R — November 22, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  13. I don’t know how this would show up at the MLB level before its had a chance to do some real damage.

    I wonder what the counter move by small markets will be? Smarter FA spending (I’ve always thought platoon guys were undervalued)? Spending a ton on scouting to try and find undervalued prospects?

    I do think you understate the effect this will have on signability. Over time, bonus demands should come down dramatically, which would mean that the first five picks should go to the best five players signability aside.

    Comment by deadpool — November 22, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  14. yes i know everything that happens in mlb benefits the yanks and destroys everyone else

    Comment by jack — November 22, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

  15. That’s a good point – MLB wants the draft to be closer to the NFL’s and the elite talent that will get the highest slots will all go to the poor performers.

    Comment by Nik — November 22, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

  16. Yeah, the new CBA is terrible for fans in Boston, Chicago, LA, and Philadelphia. Don’t be a typical Yankee-obsessed hack. The small market teams made their bed by whining about overslotting, now they have to lie in it. The new CBA is terrible for the game, but not because it somehow helps the Yankees (who will now be incapable of maintaining a decent farm system). This will only accelerate the talent drain towards basketball and football.

    Comment by Mike — November 22, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

  17. I am worried most about the MLB no longer being able to get the Carl Crawfords and Grady Sizemores of the world by overpaying them to keep them from other college sports.

    Related: does anyone know where to find the slotting recommendations (i.e. how much for each spot)?

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — November 22, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

  18. It hurts small market teams because now they aren’t allowed to overpay for cheaper talent, and they can’t afford to pay for elite Major League talent, which is obviosuly extremely expensive.

    Comment by Frank Campagnola — November 22, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

  19. I mean you can’t focus on one part of the CBA and ignore every other part and then say this is disastrous for small-market teams.

    Comment by AndyS — November 22, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

  20. Why should we expect the MLB to be any different than anything else in the world?

    “Haves” versus “have nots”

    Comment by Bill but not Ted — November 22, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

  21. brilliantly put

    Comment by jack — November 22, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  22. Maybe not in the international market, but what about the draft market?

    The draft now punishes teams for overpaying players. What do you expect this to do?

    I expect it to mean that the asking price will come down for these players. That will help small market teams. No more Harper and Strasburg situations.

    Comment by AndyS — November 22, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

  23. Spending more on scouting seems like a good bet.

    While I really have no idea, I don’t recall teams like the Braves and Rays, who have been immensely successful in the draft, spending over slot in the draft very regularly. Sure, they do it, but more than other teams?

    Comment by Perceptron — November 22, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

  24. Absolutely agreed. Part of being able to go over slot was the advantage of offering big contracts to the kids with two-sport commitments.

    How is it better for baseball to potentially lose out on elite talent to other sports?

    Comment by Frank Campagnola — November 22, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

  25. Because the NFL, NBA, and NHL have far more balanced financial playing fields?

    Comment by PiratesHurdles — November 22, 2011 @ 2:34 pm


    Comment by Waluigi — November 22, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

  27. I’m withholding judgement for a few reasons:

    1) I don’t think its obvious that the hard slot with have the impact you claim. Couldnt a small market team still perpetually take fliers on premium talent that was reluctant to sign in later rounds, at the cost of future picks. Basically this would call for a deliberate strategy of consentrating investment in a single pick rather than spreading it out. ie – the money saved on the draft pick penalties the following year could be invested in an overslot pick this year.

    2) This definitely does not deminish the importance of international scouting as you claim. Exactly the opposite – with finite resources to invest the “winners” will be those that scout the best and pick the best talent to invest in.

    The obvious negative in this is that MLB will be less competitive in acquiring top talent relative to competing sports. We will likely see more players choose college over going pro out of high school – which is good for owners becuase they get an additiona 3 years of free evaluation and development – but bad for fans because the overall quality of play will deteriorate as premier atheletes choose other sports.

    Comment by Jason — November 22, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

  28. Yeah Basketball is totally doing it right!

    Comment by Nik — November 22, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

  29. Ugh, I love baseball but reading this makes me angry.

    Comment by Jeff Sikowitz — November 22, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

  30. What exactly about it is good for small revenue teams? The increased super 2 players? The increased minimum payroll? The lack of a cap on Japanese players?

    Oh yeah, the ridiculous lottery picks that will have a slot value barely large enough to cover what it cost to sign a previously 10th round HS kid.

    Comment by PiratesHurdles — November 22, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  31. Does this go into effect immediately? Is the Cespades signing affected by this? Also, for international players, is the total the aggregate of the the contract or the yearly salary?

    Comment by Socrates — November 22, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  32. What other sports? The NFL which just lowered their ‘slots by 50% and doesn’t have guaranteed contracts? Or the NBA which isnt even going to have a season and only takes about 50 new players each year.

    Comment by Nik — November 22, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

  33. Say good by to the Dexter Fowler’s of the world, they will now be playing college foot ball instead

    Comment by Awesome — November 22, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

  34. It hurts baseball entirely, not just small market or big market teams. Read the post over at MLB Trade Rumors that breaks down the main parts of the new CBA.

    Comment by Frank Campagnola — November 22, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

  35. It’s sports. We want to see a fun competitive playing field, not the Yankees owning year in and year out. Yankees fans get to have a blast but it’s boring to other fans.

    Comment by Jeff Sikowitz — November 22, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

  36. You make some valid points but I somewhat disagree. It is a slotting system, no arguing that. Yet the teams with the lesser records, will still be spending the most because they will have higher picks and therefore the slots will be more costly. Players will no longer slide due to signability issues and a team like the Red Sox Won’t be able to draft a top talent like Blake Swiihart and woo him from a college scholarship with a 3 million dollar bonus. The international system will drive down the price on international free agents and still allow small market teams to have an edge in signing these players. Most important when the surest bet international players come to the market they will be more likely to sign with the Pirates etc., since they will have more to spend. That is unless they decide to Trade “shares” to bigger market teams and I don’t see why they would unless they are just being cheap.

    Comment by sheath1976 — November 22, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

  37. who do you think can afford to drop 10 million to get a player like Josh Bell?

    Comment by Awesome — November 22, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  38. So, the limit on international spending would apply to Cuban refugees, right? (Since they are not coming from a posting system).

    So, we are demotivating Cuban superstars from escaping to play in the MLB. Why would they want to do that?

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — November 22, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  39. I agree it hurts baseball entirely, but the point of this article is that it helps big-market teams while hurting small market teams. And that’s true – if you want to look at international signings and nothing else. This gives small market teams a big advantage in guaranteeing they’ll be able to take the best picks available in the draft.

    Comment by AndyS — November 22, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  40. Isn’t it possible that teams may simply increase start allowing players to go to college but remain under contract and play during the summer a la Jack McGeary? .

    Also, It doesn’t really make sense to use total money spent in the 2011 draft because the bonuses for top 5-10 picks in the draft are so much higher than the rest of the first round. Also many of the teams that had the highest spending had multiple first/compensatory round picks, leading to more spending as first round spending is much higher than the rest of the draft. If any part of the new CBA hurts these teams’ strategies, I would say it is the new draft pick compensation system, making it more difficult for teams to acquire extra draft picks.

    Comment by Michael Schatz — November 22, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  41. Cuban players are excepted if they are over 23 years old, which Cespedes (26) is.

    Comment by Perceptron — November 22, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  42. Yeah, but college football and basketball are much more likely to offer full ride scholarships to players than college baseball. Those players going to college rather than pro baseball could go there on football/basketball scholarships, directing their attention from baseball, and potentially taking them out of contention of the MLB entirely.

    Comment by Johnny — November 22, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  43. If 1 WS in 10 years is owning year in and year out… The Phillies, Red Sox, and Cardinals have all enjoyed comparable if not greater recent success. Not that that refutes the idea of big markets having an edge but it does undermine the Yankees versus 29 small markets narrative.

    Comment by Mike — November 22, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  44. Cuban players over 23 are excepted. If there is any consequence to this, it’s that Cuban players will wait until they are 23 to leave Cuba.

    Comment by Perceptron — November 22, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  45. Considering what it does to amateur spending, a better question is “Did Jerry Reinsdorf Write the New CBA.”

    The White Sox never go over slot, and thanks to Dave Wilder and general unwillingness to spend on amateur talent don’t spend on the international market.

    Comment by Dick — November 22, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  46. Just by pointing out that the Pirates, Nationals, Royals, Diamondbacks, Rays, Mariners, Padres, and Blue Jays spent the most on the draft in 2011, it does not follow that small market teams will not be able to spend on the draft.

    That list is the teams with the highest picks and/or most number of high picks in the draft. Of course they spent the most money! A better list would be total-amount-spent-over-slot, which I’m guessing is going include many more big market teams.

    Comment by misc — November 22, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

  47. While I agree that this new plan is worse than the current status quo, I do wonder if this will head off further inequity between big spenders and small market teams. After all, nothing was stopping the Phils, Yanks, and Red Sox from blasting away small market teams in terms of international and overslot signings. Now these cash-loaded teams can not adopt those strategies, and the playing field appears to be more even, if at the cost of a smaller talent pool.

    Comment by Red — November 22, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

  48. I agree. I like the cap on draft spending. Maybe now the Justin Verlanders of the world will go to the Padres instead of the Tigers.

    Comment by JT Grace — November 22, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

  49. Answer me this: Why apply a luxury tax to draft spending, international signings and MLB salaries independently? Why not apply the tax to the entire amount a team spends on “baseball operations”? For example, say the Yankees spend $300MM (all-inclusive… MLB FO salaries, MLB player/coach/manager salaries, MiLB operations, draft spending, international signings, all totalling $300MM)… Say a cut-off of $225MM for 2012 would make $75MM taxable. This would allow a team flexibility to allot money as they wish/need to.

    As it stands, it seems that every team is being forced into a cookie-cutter. A team like Tampa could end up only spending $60MM on “baseball operations”, but because of their apportioning “too much” of that $60MM on the draft, they could be subject to tax. This is honestly one of the biggest mistakes MLB could make… that and allowing the Padres to wear those hideous unis last year.

    Comment by cubbluie — November 22, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

  50. Thanks for the clarification.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — November 22, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

  51. Furthermore, you get paid right away in the NBA and NFL, you don’t have to toil in the minors. A big signing bonus is the only serious money a kid sees from baseball until his 4th or 5th year in the bigs, which could potentially be nearly a decade after he’s drafted. Poor kids or even middle class kids are gonna want the instant payoff.

    Comment by Mike — November 22, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

  52. Remember, this is a deal between the owners and current players. Current players want money spent in the majors. Owners want money in their pockets. Issues about access to talent are outside the bounds of what the parties involved care about.

    Comment by Dick — November 22, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

  53. If a player cant get a full ride baseball scholarship, they aren’t good enough to be getting a decent draft bonus even with the previous system.

    Comment by Nik — November 22, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  54. You’re right ,the Braves rarely ever go over slot in the draft. In fact if a player they like looks like they will ask for above slot money they bypass them and take another player.

    As a Braves fan I like the new draft rules. It means that they will take the best player available at their spot in the draft order.

    Comment by JT Grace — November 22, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  55. Well, everyone should care about the long-term health of the sport, as that will make everyone wealthier in the end.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — November 22, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  56. Teams with bad records will now be pretty assured of getting the best talent in the draft, and on the international market. The Yankees didn’t leverage their resources in the draft the way they ought to have, but Boston certainly did. The reason Washington, Pittsburgh, et al paid more bonus money out is in large part because they had the highest picks in the draft. They’ll continue to pay the largest bonus money and get the best players because the highest picks will have the highest slot values. The totals will just be smaller. Teams can also go a bit overslot, but it may require punting a pick here or there or signing a guy or two at below slot values.

    It’s different. Not necessarily worse.

    Comment by Grant — November 22, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

  57. In the short term maybe this is true, but not after 3 years. For example lets say that the new rules force the majority of the top HS talent to go to college this year. In 2015, the college draft pool is now far superior to what it used to be and those kids have no leverage at all. Draft day 2015 rolls around and now the Yankees and Red Sox get better players at less cost with their picks, because the pool is deeper. No?

    Comment by PiratesHurdles — November 22, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  58. I said that in my original comment above – it most definitely gives small market teams an advantage in drafting the best talent come June.

    Comment by Frank Campagnola — November 22, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

  59. And the uniforms they are apparenly gonna let the Marlins wear next year.

    Comment by sheath1976 — November 22, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

  60. Excuse me, this is an anti-Yankee rant. Please don’t let facts get in the way.

    Comment by Frank — November 22, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

  61. Exactly, but that isn’t entirely fair to the upper echelon of teams. They’re getting penalized for being good year in and year out.

    At least with the NFL draft, you can trade up or trade down.

    Comment by Frank Campagnola — November 22, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

  62. …then why did you say it hurts small market teams in response to my post?

    You know what, nevermind.

    Comment by AndyS — November 22, 2011 @ 2:55 pm

  63. The Yankees can pay market price for players and cover up their mistakes. It really isn’t too bad, but the comparative edge counts.

    The best way to win is still efficient spending and a good farm system. These new rules seemingly make it harder to stock up on young (especially international) talent. It should be harder for small market teams to compete against larger market teams with these rules in place.

    Comment by Jeff Sikowitz — November 22, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

  64. That’s not really true, the Pirates spent way over slot the last 4 years on many picks in the later rounds (Grossman, Cain, Von Rosenberg, Holmes, etc), not to mention basically getting a top 15 talent with the 62nd pick of the draft in Josh Bell. Its not all due to having a high dollar value 1st rounder. The strategy of taking high ceiling HS kids later in the draft is now dead and that is worse for the teams taht used that strategy.

    Yes, that means that part is worse for a team like Boston, but Boston can afford to add talent at the MLB level, while Pittsburgh cannot.

    Comment by PiratesHurdles — November 22, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  65. You’re looking at the over-slotting concept in a vacuum. Over-slotting on young talent is sustainable for small-market teams because it is still far cheaper than paying market value for MLB-proven talent that will perform at the same expected level. For a small-market team, it is all about finding surplus value on a player’s contract. If that means you have to take a risk and pay a player in the draft over-slot but still well below what he’ll be expected to produce in WAR over the life of that contract, you have to do it.

    Comment by Nathan — November 22, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  66. That is a much, much better idea, and would incentivize creativity in scouting and producing better baseball players rather than finding arcane loopholes in the system.

    Comment by stefan — November 22, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  67. Well, baseball still has an advantage in that you can go from high school to the pros. Athletes in basketball and football don’t have that option. Some kids might need $4 million to be swayed from college football, others might take $40,000. The majority of the young athletes I’ve met don’t really want to be stuck in a classroom.

    Comment by Steve — November 22, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

  68. The NBA NHL and NFL are much more competitive for one reason:

    Salary Cap

    Comment by Bill but not Ted — November 22, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  69. It is difficult to see how spending limits on anything benefits the Yankees but that seems to be what you are arguing. Previously you have argued that the Yankees basically have infinite resources and this hurts the game. Now you are arguing that spending limits that apply to the Yankees as well as other teams again benefits the Yankees.

    Comment by Jason — November 22, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

  70. Teams will still over-slot for the right player. Drafting a great high school player would probably be worth losing a draft pick and a fee.

    Comment by Theo — November 22, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

  71. That is just simply not true. How often do teams like the Orioles and Pirates pass up the best pick in the draft because they don’t think they’ll be able to afford it?

    It happens like every other year.

    Comment by AndyS — November 22, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

  72. Preventing teams like the Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, and other large market teams from shelling out large bonuses in the later rounds is obviously a huge advantage in their favor!

    Comment by Brian S. — November 22, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  73. I believe this will help sign more players from the draft especially the high school players. There will no longer be a game of will he sign or not based on the team drafted but based on the draft position because now it is set by the league. If a guy truly believes that 3-4 years of college will move him up “x” spots in the draft that is now worth “y” amount of dollars to him. Instead of players trying to milk money out of teams and getting paid well over the spot they were drafted. I actually believe that this will create more parity in the rule 4 draft because Talent will match more closely to draft position and “sign-ability” will be less significant.

    Comment by Andrew — November 22, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  74. The issue is their dependence on these talent sources, which is nil. Sure, without any restrictions the Yankees could try to exploit them — and they’ve had some success doing so. But even better for them would be to limit the degree to which anybody can get get much talent by these means. The more the league is dependent on free agent talent, greater the advantage of the large[est] market.

    Comment by NS — November 22, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  75. It’s important to remember that the CBA is an agreement between the owners and the players who are already playing MLB baseball. There isn’t much incentive for those groups to represent the fans or younger players who aren’t at the table.

    Comment by jld — November 22, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  76. After reading all the comments I feel that perhaps a better complaint than “it will hurt small-market teams” is that it will hurt savvy front offices, especially those on the lower end of the payroll spectrum, because they will be essentially unable to invest in younger top round talent in the lower rounds of the draft; rather, that talent will slip through to the following years because those players will know they are worth more by going to college, at least so long as they don’t blow out an elbow or something unpredictable.

    Comment by Nathan — November 22, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  77. 1. Rich teams wont even have a remote chance of throwing more money at Draftees. They wont get to draft them and have a hard cap on what they can spend if they do.

    2. They wont be able to throw money at international free agents anymore than Oakland will.

    Sounds like a Steinbrenner wrote it to me.

    Comment by Keystone Heavy — November 22, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

  78. This is gibberish. The CBA is bad for baseball but not for small market teams. They get to spend more internationally and outbid the big market teams (contra your puzzling assertion) and get the best players in the draft, PLUS additional picks, at a lower cost (thus increasing their big league payrolls as well). To the extent that small market teams were somehow beating the market with overslot and international signings, which is a dubious claim unsupported by the evidence you provide, there is no reason to belive that would have continued.

    Comment by Cliff — November 22, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

  79. I agree, but the higher penalties for doing this hurt the smaller-markets and non-traditional front offices. The Yankees/Sox/Cubs/Phillies can afford the tax and pick penalties because they can afford to pay talent that is already at the MLB level for their fair market value. The Rays/Jays of the world are in more of a pickle because while they can afford simply paying over slot, can they also afford the tax and pick penalty? Unless you have a chance at a Strasburg-like talent, probably not.

    Comment by Nathan — November 22, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  80. The agreement favors spending at the ML level. Meanwhile the teams depend on cost controlled talent to compete lose the tools that allow them to compete.

    The benefit to the Yankees is more indirect than the harm to the small budget teams. Any team with the resources to accumulate ML talent at market rates gains because the cost controlled talent becomes more spread out.

    Comment by Dick — November 22, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

  81. One of the Nats biggest bonuses went to their third round pick, Matt Purke.

    So no, they did not pay more for bonuses because they had early picks.

    Comment by David — November 22, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

  82. You’re missing the point, sure all teams can no longer sign overslot talent or invest heavily in Latin America, but this was the only method that small revenue teams had to acquire quality talent. The high revenue teams can just compensate by spending more in free agency. The cost of talent at the MLB levels is too high comparatively for the small revenue teams to compete.

    That is why it hurts small revenue teams worse than rich teams. This closes the relatively cheap loopholes that allowed for talent acquisition.

    Comment by PiratesHurdles — November 22, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

  83. Except now a IFA will see an offer from the Yanks and the A’s for the same dollar amount… which team do you think he’ll choose?

    The Yanks, who he knows all about because they’re on TV… or the A’s, some team out west he’s only seen play once in his life?

    Comment by David — November 22, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

  84. Verlander went to the Tigers because the Padres spent stupidly, not because the system was unfair.

    Comment by cpebbles — November 22, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

  85. Next article: Why the Yankees are the cause of global warming, AIDS, and world hunger.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 22, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

  86. One thing that will be interesting to watch is that now you will see players lying about their ages in the other direction.

    Comment by Joel — November 22, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

  87. Cliff just look at the Pirates draft strategy under Huntington, they have been doing exactly what you say is dubious. The Bucs have generated as much hope for the future with many overslot moves getting much more than their equal share of talent the last 4 years. All low revenue teams arn’t doing this, but some are and its a crushing blow.

    Comment by PiratesHurdles — November 22, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  88. I’m curious… is there anything in the CBA preventing teams from doing something similar to what the Cubs did with Matt Szczur this past offseason? I’m pretty sure his initial draft contract was at or close to slot after being drafted in 2010. But then in 2011 the Cubs gave him $1.5 million. I have a feeling you might see creative GMs get around this issue.

    Comment by BassmanUW — November 22, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  89. “aren’t allowed to overpay for cheaper talent…” Not sure this makes a whole lot of sense. If it really is cheaper talent how can it be overpaying? I would have like to have seen a list of elite international talents that would have been affected by this rule had it been in place for the last 10 years or so. I am pretty sure that under the previous rules the Yankees, Red Sox, etc. could have overpayed for any cheaper talent they wanted to. I do agree that many international players would choose a big market team over KC given equal money. On the other hand I would guess that this already happens with amatuers choosing high profile teams for less money than less prestigous teams are offering.

    Comment by Ronin — November 22, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

  90. “Answer me this: Why apply a luxury tax to draft spending, international signings and MLB salaries independently? ”

    Because the players union would not go for this. A luxury tax on overall spending would impact player paychecks, which they definitely do not want. Instead, the players sacrificed the draftees and international players to keep the overall luxury tax (AKA salary cap) off the table..

    Comment by siggian — November 22, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

  91. Not trying to be snarky, but the Pirates will be better off being able to sign first round talent in the first round. Because their overslot late round signings have been an unmitigated disaster. In other words, it makes the consensus top talent available to them and decreases the risk.

    Comment by Paul — November 22, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  92. If it was just that players would spend 3-4 years in college and then enter the draft, that’s one thing. But most of these guys are going to be dual sport guys, playing football or basketball as well. At the major university level, football and basketball are much better funded. A fair number of major talents are going to never play professional baseball instead.

    Comment by BassmanUW — November 22, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  93. Its too bad that the CBA doesn’t cover the media-rights douchebaggery that leads to MLB.TV blackout of every game ever.

    Comment by AK707 — November 22, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  94. Domonic Brown as well. Two Sport athletes won’t even sniff the MLB anymore

    Comment by Jamie — November 22, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  95. Mr. Cameron,

    Your anti-Yankees rants lately have you coming off as a crybaby and at best “a typical Yankee-obsessed hack” as one commenter rightfully put it. This is the same crap we can read weekly over at ESPN.

    By all means, write about your opinions about the new CBA, but focusing your aggravation on one team that has absolutely NOTHING to do with how MLB makes these decisions is not the way to go about it. There are no mentions of the Red Sox, Phillies, Mets, Giants, Angels, White Sox, or Cubs.

    Your article regarding the Yankees and opportunity costs was simply stating an utterly false opinion. That’s fine. You’ve been wrong before and you’ll be wrong plenty in the future – especially considering the downward spiral of your writing.

    This is an obvious rant against one team. That’s the way it comes off whether you would admit it or not. If you are unhappy with baseball’s new CBA, and that certainly seems to be the case, there should be no mention of the Yankees whatsoever.

    This isn’t about the Yankees. But you associate the negativity in this article with the Yankees by constantly bringing up their name. Your only argument is about how other teams are at a disadvantage with the new CBA. But you neglect (and I suspect intentionally) to delve into how the Yankees benefit – if in fact they do at all! You also neglect to mention how the new CBA can/will hurt the Yankees as well. How exactly do the Yankees benefit with a ~ $2 million cap on international free agents? Indeed, the Yankees spent $5.3 million on international talent in 2010.

    How exactly do the Yankees benefit from a hard slotting system in the draft? The Yankees haven’t picked higher than 17th in the draft in the last 26 YEARS. It is my understanding that they can use their financial advantage in the draft on players who fall to them due to signing concerns. Is that not correct?

    It seems fairly obvious that you could have chosen to dissect the new CBA and how it affects ALL OF MLB. Instead you chose to focus your negativity and vent your frustration on one team. It reeks of bias. Once bias is introduced into your writing, its credibility takes a major hit.

    Comment by Frank — November 22, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  96. I think you mean “the Jered Weavers of the world.” Verlander and Bush got exactly the same signing bonus. Weaver and Drew were the two guys who fell due to high signing demands. When Moores and his idiot sidekick Dick Freeman got scared by the pricetags those two were demanding, they sent Towers back to the drawing board shortly before the draft. Because his scouting department was next to nonexistent, they were lacking in basic information you’d want to make a decision at that point, and ultimately pulled the most KT-esque “gunslinger” move of them all and went for the local kid.
    Verlander was absolutely, positively NOT the consensus pick that year.

    Comment by david — November 22, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  97. No team, not even the Yankees, want to spend MORE in free agency.

    Comment by Frank — November 22, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

  98. awesome point here.

    Comment by Brian — November 22, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

  99. Sadly this side of the argument is completely eliminated from the article. Why is that I wonder?

    Comment by Frank — November 22, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

  100. It’s because Dave Cameron is now nothing more than a typical Yankee-hating hack who lets his hate for the Yankees blind him from any and all objectivity. It’s sad.

    Comment by Frank — November 22, 2011 @ 3:46 pm

  101. Don’t the NFL and NBA have hard slotting? Are people avoiding those sports because of it?

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 22, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

  102. Except it won’t “force” these kids to go to college at all

    I find this whole line of thinking spurious at best.

    1) How many times does a true “sure-thing” baseball/football player like Bubba Starling, who in all likelihood would make the NFL really come along? Sure, you get guys like Zack Lee who have the chance to go play college football at a top program and have a chance to be a pro, but are they really going to turn down $2 million just because under the current system they might have got $3 or $5 million or whatever?
    2) You’re assuming the slots will be some lower version than “market” value. We don’t know that’s the case

    Comment by John — November 22, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

  103. Mike, you’re saying that this will only accelerate the talent drain to two sports that already have hard slotting?

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 22, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  104. I think that if the Yankees wanted to pay more for those players they would. It isn’t obviously the case that small market teams derive much benefit from the current system. Both the Yankees and the Redsox do a fantastic job of developing major league talent as it is considering their roster flexibility.

    Since there is a finite talent pool, Mr. Cameron’s argument implicitly assumes that the big market teams will be getting more of the young talent than they would have under the old system. I seriously doubt this will be the case. The reason small market teams can pay over slot is not because other teams can’t, its that other teams don’t want to. They don’t want to because they have rosters full of long term contracts. High payroll teams don’t have the roster turnover of low payroll teams. Why overpay for a kid that is at best going to be a trade chip used to acquire expensive established talent?

    The Yankees have one of the top prospects in the game right now and they can’t play him on the big club because they can’t find a position for him! The small market team’s advantage in player development is not financial as Mr Cameron is suggesting, it is roster flexibility.

    Comment by Jason — November 22, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  105. Don’t forget illegal immigration and cultural decline.

    Comment by Paul — November 22, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

  106. This is a damn shame.

    great article Dave!

    Comment by joeiq — November 22, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

  107. dave just hates the yankees

    Comment by bill — November 22, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

  108. How many players fit into this category though? In the grand scheme of things, you can’t base a CBA around the fear that a select few people will avoid the MLB draft in favor of basketball or football.

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 22, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

  109. “If it really is cheaper talent how can it be overpaying?”

    Say I’m going shopping for a new car next month. I’m going to be looking at something like a Camry/Sonata/Altima. It’s not that I don’t want a Maybach 62S (complete with driver of course), but those things are entirely out of my price range. The ones I’m looking at are cheaper.

    However, if I had an opportunity to pay a 15% premium (call it an overpayment if you will) on that Camry/Sonata/Altima with the knowledge that a month after I drive it off the dealer’s lot, it might turn into a Maybach, I’d certainly think about it.

    The draft is supposed to be about giving teams that could never purchase a Maybach on the open market a chance to get a Camry that becomes one. The opportunity to do that has gone down drastically.

    Comment by david — November 22, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

  110. the title of this article makes me sick

    Comment by joe — November 22, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

  111. Ding ding ding! This is about the owners trying to control costs, and the MLBPA serving them up a nice helping of players they don’t represent yet. Veterans don’t much like the idea of some getting paid Strasburg bucks before they’ve so much as played a game in the minor leagues, so it’s an easy sell.

    The effects this may have on competitive balance and talent going to other sports is entirely secondary.

    Comment by David — November 22, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

  112. Not sure why you’d say its been a disaster, Josh Bell, Stetson Allie, and Robbie Grossman are all in their top 10 prospects.

    Also, it hasn’t hurt them in signing their top pick at all, they went bi for Pedro, Taillon, and Cole.

    Comment by PiratesHurdles — November 22, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  113. I think that’s generally true. But another thought is that this will probably push to college a lot of borderline players who some team could overslot in the late rounds. So college programs would seem to really benefit here, including being able to keep draft eligible sophomores, and maybe even quite a few guys going on to be seniors. Add to this the new bats in the college game and you have the ability to better evaluate players, and they are more developed when they’re draft ready. I think this will actually have the effect of dramatically decreasing risk for small market teams. I think overall this is going to dramatically reduce risk in the draft. How many 1st round NFL players just don’t ever make a contribution? Virtually none. Right now the MLB draft is sort of a crap shoot. I think this system can help small market teams quite a bit by getting more sure thing talents into their systems.

    Comment by Paul — November 22, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  114. dave is a great writer and baseball analyst, one of the best out there without a doubt. but you are right with the anti-yankee sentiment that has been growing and growing in his writing. the title of this article is legitimately ridiculous and just an opportunity to take a shot at them. i’m pretty sick of the anti-yankee tone of dave that has been growing lately, especially in regards to montero. viva justin smoak! (out-warred by jesus in a month)

    Comment by jack — November 22, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  115. But is it luck or exploiting an inefficiency? If the latter, how long do you think it would have lasted? The Pirates now get to sign more and better players than other teams- not a crushing blow, I think.

    Comment by Cliff — November 22, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  116. Those guys you mention were all top 6 rounds. They signed a ton of later round guys like Hafner, Colton Cain, etc., who talent evaluators are not high on. The best evidence I can give you that their strategy has been a failure is that, as you say, Stetson Allie is in their top 10.

    Comment by Paul — November 22, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

  117. They also don’t have a minor league system – players get their pay-day immediately. And given the choice in college, it makes more sense to take a full football or basketball scholarship over a half baseball scholarship. In the past, baseball teams compensated by buying these guys off their commits. Not anymore.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 22, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  118. But they won’t need to overpay. They’ll just get the best players in the draft while paying dramatically less than market value for them. I don’t see how this can be seen as any less than a huge win for small market teams. The only teams that will be able to acquire elite amateur talent will be the worst teams.

    Comment by PK — November 22, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  119. Pirates, let’s say someone is drafted with the 10th pick and the slot is $2MM (I’m making up a number here). Why would he turn that money down to go to college? If he waits it out and goes back into the draft a few years from now, he’s still going to have to deal with a slotting system. He’ll be giving up $2MM now, with the off-chance of getting 2.5MM in 3-4 years?

    Yeah, a lot of draftees hold out for a high bonus, way above slot. How many of them are bluffing though, simply because they have leverage? With the new system in place, they don’t have leverage to bluff. I’d be shocked if a number of players turn down $2MM simply because a year earlier the same pick in the draft signed for $3.5MM.

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 22, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

  120. Andy, your suppositions are just absolutely wrong.
    I mean, it WAS the case that the Pirates made some absurd decisions for cost-savings in the draft (most notably Bullington over Upton), but they’ve been the biggest spenders over the last three years. And the last time they made a decision to bypass a guy because of bonus demands, he slid all the way to… the Baltimore Orioles.

    You know who’s set all the records for draft bonuses outside the top three picks in the last few years? The Pirates, Padres, Rays and Jays.
    And you know who has had their own first round pick exactly once in the last four years? The Yankees (which they used to UNSUCCESSFULLY try to get Gerrit Cole).

    Comment by david — November 22, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

  121. So, because the Braves were foolish and didn’t realize that busting slot was still an immense value, they should be rewarded? Nice.

    I’m a Yankee fan. This deal probably helps my team more than any other. And it sucks ass.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 22, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  122. Exactly. Things are getting more and more evened out almost everywhere but free agency, the one spot where the big markets historically dominate for obvious reasons.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — November 22, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  123. A young player would be much, much smarter to choose the A’s. There is no room on the Yankees big league roster. The A’s have no player entrenched anywhere. It is much easier to break into the big leagues with the A’s than the Yankees. Much easier. If you are a border line big leaguer the Yankees would be the last team to choose. Just ask Kei Igawa.

    Comment by Jason — November 22, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  124. You do realize that small-market teams were the ones that gained the greatest advantage by busting slot, right?

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 22, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

  125. You do realize that MLB is just as competitive as the NFL and is much more competitive than the NBA precisely because the NBA caps the maximum salary of superstars, making them the greatest value in the game, right?

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 22, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

  126. The biggest concern here is whether this will drive young talent to other sports. I might believe that argument about Puerto Rico if the NBA and NFL were teaming with Puerto Rican players, but they are not. Yes, it would have prevented the Dodgers from signing Lee(I think that’s what his name is) in 2010, but those cases are really not all that common. Slot money is still very good money and players would be stupid to turn it down in hopes of getting a higher slot somewhere else or opting for a college sport where they have a high chance of getting injured or not making the grade for some other reason. Maybe if MLB starts trying to ratchet down the slot money it might become a problem down the road, but we haven’t seen that yet.

    I’ll just add that after the signings of Angel Villalona and Rafael Rodriguez, the Giants changed their international strategy to signing multiple players to mid-6 figure bonuses rather than put it all in one player. We’re starting to see these players populate the farm system as promising prospects, many much more promising than Villalona or RafRod.

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — November 22, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

  127. Another surprisingly incomplete argument by someone who’s usually the most reliably insightful writer on the site.

    Comment by Oscar — November 22, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

  128. This is an intellectually lazy article. A week or two ago, you said that the Yankees had no budget and that was not fair. Now you’re saying that provisions that cap draft and IFA spending also benefit the Yanks.

    I smell Yankee envy from Mr. #6org.

    Comment by Common Sense — November 22, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

  129. Wrong. A) Title IX has really reduced the number of full scholarships for non-revenue sports (I think each baseball team gets 12 or 13 to spread over its entire roster), and B) players often greatly develop in college and have a much higher draft stock than they looked like they’d have coming out of high school. Strasburg wasn’t considered much of a prospect in 2006.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 22, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  130. They also have a much harder cap on overall spending (particularly the NFL)

    Comment by Jordan — November 22, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

  131. It is worth noting that Cole was originally a late first round draft choice of the Yankees but wouldn’t sign with them. I don’t blame him. It’s tough to make the Yankees big league roster. Cole might be in the majors next year in Pittsburgh though.

    Comment by Jason — November 22, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  132. Nik full scholarships are extremely rare in college baseball. You are incorrect in your assessment.

    Comment by Leo — November 22, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

  133. Could you actually argue against what Dave says in the opportunity cost article?

    The only opinion from that article — which was clearly expressed as an opinion — was essentially that the result of the Yankees’ success was detrimental to the rest of baseball.

    But the discussion about opportunity cost and how the Yankees financial success has eliminated the $ constraint from their opportunity cost calculation is clearly an objective fact. If you disagree that this scenario should not be restricted by new MLB rules, that’s fine, just clear up what you’re saying because you look silly to argue the factual points of his article.

    Comment by Nathan — November 22, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

  134. When did college seniors ever have any leverage?

    Comment by Brandon Warne — November 22, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

  135. “But most of these guys are going to be dual sport guys, playing football or basketball as well.”

    I think you’re strongly overestimating the number of MLB-caliber players that have a shot at the NFL or NBA. Yes, there are a few supremely athletic MLB players, but it’s not like MLB would be less enjoyable because a handful of people chose to play a different sport.

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 22, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

  136. Kevin, if you’re not good enough to get a full ride baseball scholarship, then you’re not good enough to be affected by the slotting system. Teams weren’t lining up to draft someone in the 3rd round and give him a $2MM bonus if his school was only willing to give him a partial scholarship.

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 22, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  137. Unfortunately, the answer is to eliminate leverage for draftees. Teams, especially those among the top few spots, have danced around the best available prospect for the cheaper player. For that problem, the new CBA aims to correct it and have players go in the order of (perceived) ability.

    I don’t believe the intention of the luxury tax was to kill competition even though that is what it appears it will do. For what it is worth, there is a luxury tax in place at $178Mil per MLB Trade Rumours.

    Comment by Clemsor — November 22, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  138. …you just proved my point. Thanks.

    First, you point out only examples of how the Pirates saved money by avoiding top draft picks (which, as far as I can see, no big market team did). Then you say that only small market teams are spending on the draft…well then, won’t this de facto cap help them by saving them money? By driving down costs of small market teams’ main market, these teams will save lots of $$ that they can then put to other uses.

    Also, despite the Yankees, for instance, having few top picks, they have a history of overslotting (

    Don’t say I’m absolutely wrong and then back up my argument.

    Comment by AndyS — November 22, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

  139. This is crazy. Slight changes don’t change the fact that there is more money in baseball and it’s a more comfortable lifestyle.

    Comment by TK — November 22, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

  140. Right you are, and here’s proof that big market teams do the most overslotting:

    Comment by AndyS — November 22, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

  141. You’re kind of missing the point with the slotting issue. The reason the new system will result in more players choosing football over baseball is as follows:
    Baseball teams are allowed to draft amateur U.S. athletes after their senior year of high school. Basketball and football team cannot do that. Let’s say you have a football/baseball high school senior who is weighing 3 options. 1)Division 1-A football full scholarship. Division 1-A baseball scholarship. 3)drafted in the 20th round of the MLB draft but offered a $300,000 bonus because he has 1st or 2nd round talent but teams passed on him because they didn’t want to waste a high draft pick on someone who very well might be playing wide-receiver at Ohio State next year. Under the old system teams would do that and sometimes they’d convince a player that $300,000 dollars right now was better than taking his chances playing at least 3 years of college football (the minimum stay in college before one can be drafted in the NFL) and seeing if he could be drafted in the NFL. Now, MLB teams can’t do that, therefore less players are going to choose to play baseball over football. Not that many players, but definitely some.

    Comment by mcneildon — November 22, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

  142. First, the provisions don’t really cap draft spending. For all intents and purposes they probably do, but technically speaking that is incorrect for you to say.

    Second, the Yankees budget (or lack thereof) applies to BOTH exiting major league talent as well as potential draftees and international FAs. While international FA spending is capped with this change, and it is fair to assume that draftee spending is more or less capped with this change, the amount you can spend on existing major league players is still not capped.

    Capping what can be spent on draftees and international FAs caps both the Yankees and small-market teams alike. The critical difference is that since the Yankees have no effective budget for their payroll, they can offset that their talent pool for international FAs and draftees is limited by spending more on existing ML talent. Small-market teams don’t have this luxury, so they will be forced into either A) spending more than they can sustain, which is bad for them or B) filling rosters with replacement level veterans instead of young talent with the upside of potential above replacement (and average, in many cases) production before the end of the contract.

    Another way to restate it — the Yankees don’t care about getting surplus value on a contract, they just care about getting better performances from their players than the competition. Small-market teams are only successful when they get surplus value on multiple contracts, and it is very very difficult to get surplus value by paying existing and established ML talent at its market value, whether that player is worth the going rate for 8 WAR or the going rate for 2 WAR.

    Comment by Nathan — November 22, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

  143. Ah, I see further on down you do get the point but you just don’t think it’s all that significant. You may well be right, but I think it will drain some talent from the game.

    Comment by mcneildon — November 22, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

  144. People are missing the point.

    The Rays livelihood rests upon the draft. They are good, because of the draft. Big market teams are able to spend in free agency. The Rays are not. This is crippling to any team that follows the Rays strategy, which comprises of mostly small market teams.

    Yes, the Yankees can’t spend on the draft either, but they can spend money in free agency, a luxury many teams do not have. It’s not just the Yankees, but they are a prime example.

    12 million spent by the Rays in the draft is not equivalent to 12 million spent by the Yankees in the draft, as the biggest reason of the Rays success is because of the draft, where the Yankees do not really nearly as much on the draft process.

    Comment by Connor — November 22, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

  145. But take in consideration that teams with smaller payrolls allocate a big bunch of money to signing international free agents and overal “investing” in their minor leagues, not to compete BUT to avoid investing it everyday players at the Major level, thus making sure they can spend a few more years bottom feeding off revenue sharing from the bigger, better teams like the Yankees who choose to invest at the Major League level.

    Now, teams like Pirates, Astros and Padres won’t have an excuse of the likes of “ooow i’d like to sign my best soon-to-be-FA but sheesh i don’t have money… here, allow me to trade him to the team of my former boss for a bunch of no-future players and a case of wine”.

    Take into consideration that “loser” teams will have more money available from the millions upon millions they deflected towards international free agent signings (whom, by the way, they’ll just trade them once they have good value and will replace them with inferior players).

    The new CBA will also hurt significantly bigger teams, specially the Boston Red Sox that used to promise big bucks to the best players in the draft, so as to make those players ask for tons of millions from worse teams that pick first, disencouraging ‘poorer’ teams from signing them, and allowing the Sox to sign them waaay down where they usually pick.

    That same thing will also disencourage good players from refusing a good contract from the worst teams since he’ll know that if he gets picked lower in the draft he won’t get a bigger amount of money from better teams who will be paying a hefty amount of money in TAX.

    Comment by Mike — November 22, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

  146. absolutely not i agree with that article 100% and did not specifically mention it in my above post regarding dave’s growing anti-yankee sentiment. the opp. cost article actually had no anti-yankee bias whatsoever.

    Comment by jack — November 22, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

  147. It seems they did it for that exact reason, forcing low revenue teams to spend their money on their players at the MLB level so as to ensure that their best homegrown talent remains in their team, instead of continuing in the bussiness of “investing in minor leagues to develop players whom i’ll trade once they are good, and at the same time i’ll be making sure of continuing having bad seasons, thus, better draft players to develop to later trade to…”

    Comment by Mike — November 22, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

  148. mc, there are two reasons why I think that just won’t be a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

    1) If he’s not good enough to get more than a $300K bonus, his odds of becoming a star are pretty long. I know you’re picking a random number here, but if someone is a great prospect with star potential, he should be able to get a big bonus. If he’s not a great prospect, the loss to MLB will be miniscule.

    2) If this guy is a 1st or 2nd round talent, he’ll know (almost) exactly how much of a bonus he’ll get based on his spot in the draft. I’m assuming the slot would be over a million bucks for a late first rounder or early second rounder. That’s a lot of money to give up so that you can play college football.

    In a nutshell, the players that are good enough to be a ‘loss’ to MLB – they’re getting good enough bonuses to sway them from other sports.

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 22, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  149. Make that “the Boston Red Sox”, ’cause they’re basically the team that does that, Phillies had just begun, the Yanks didn’t do it because they know that being the most popular team in latinoamerica also gives them the opportunity to sign very good players for small amounts of money, players who dream of playing with the Yankees and being regarded as “part of the elite”.

    Toronto and the Pirates on the other hand, have to spend a LOT of money to sign good international amateurs (they’re more willing to spend 4 millions on a player who won’t be in the MLB team in 4-5 years than in their MLB roster).

    Comment by Mike — November 22, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

  150. “Congratulations, Major League Baseball, you just screwed every team that doesn’t have the capability of running out a $100+ million payroll, and you just made winning a lot more about Major League payroll size than anything else.” He clearly means all of the teams you mentioned above.

    Dave does mention New York at the start, but I think it was his way of introducing big-payroll teams (BPT) in a nifty way instead of listing every single big market team. Throughout the piece he refers to big market teams as… big market teams.

    His essential argument to harming small and even mid market teams is that now that draft cannot provide that additional advantage anymore to ANY team since there is a set price. You’re right that the Yankees (or any BPT) also will now be hurt as well in terms of finding value through the draft. Since every team will have to rely more on the FA market, small market teams will suffer.

    Comment by Clemsor — November 22, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

  151. I dont see why the Rays can’t continue to draft well. Their draft advantage seems to be having lots of picks. With slotting, perhaps they will also save some money to retain the players later.

    Comment by Jason — November 22, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

  152. Frank, it seems to me that you calling somebody else “Yankees obsessed” is a bit of a pot/kettle situation.

    You simply can not play ignorant that the Yankees have a payroll consistantly and significantly higher than that of other teams and that this means they operate under a different set of rules. I think Dave (and any other writer or opinionated barfly) uses “the Yankees” when making his points about competitive issues in baseball related to financial resources due to that fact and that fact alone. I really doubt it is because of any “Yankee hate”.

    If the sultan of Dubai buys the Twins tomorrow and starts spending $1billion/year on baseball operations and talent aquisition, then you can rest assured that articles relating to baseball and financial resources will focus on the “Twins problem” and all us jealous fans of those other 29 teams (you know, those teams they allow in the league so that the Yankees have somebody to beat) will stop focusing our immature hate on your honorable club in the Bronx.

    Comment by MikeM — November 22, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

  153. The Yankees won’t get the benefit of over-slotting me… Huge advantage!

    Comment by Andrew Brackman — November 22, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  154. Small market teams are able to time their talent and go for it when it has ripened. This is an advantage that big teams do not have as they are all-in every year and cannot sell off their +value players every season to stock up on more prospects. That ‘advantage’ isnt going away and will still allow the smaller teams to compete when their young cores peak.

    As far as the draft, what if the other teams who have more money will start throwing more money into the draft, something you say the Rays are making their living at. Don’t you think that would hurt the Rays? The new rules are there to prevent that and to create a level playing field – at least in the draft.

    Comment by Nik — November 22, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

  155. Not even close to retaining the key players. There’s about a 10 million dollar difference in what they spent last year to what they will be able to spend. 10 million isn’t enough to sign Crawford or extend a Price or Shields. It’s enough to sign an Aaron Hill and a bench player. Would you have rather have Aaron Hill for 2 years or sign 8 extra prospects?

    Comment by Connor — November 22, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

  156. Awesome point.

    To add to this is the one game Wild Card playoff. In the end this favors the number one seed, who gets to play the winner of the Wild Card playoff in the Division Series. Except now that team will have just burnt their number one starter. Which teams are most likely to win the most games during the regular season? Well, in the AL over the last decade it was the Yankees six times out of ten.

    I guess baseball won’t have to worry about two small market teams sneaking into the World Series any more.

    Comment by short — November 22, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

  157. Non-sense. It hurts small market teams because now they’ll have money available to sign long term their homegrown talent at the major league level, and won’t be able to use them as trade bait once those players are making them win.

    Check on what the Padres did with Adrián, for example, he had been contributing to 30% or more of their offense the past few years and made them a winning team, but they traded him because “they couldn’t afford him” (yet they have been the team with the highest profit margin in the MLB the past 4 years). After Adrián was traded, they once again had a bad season, which ensured them better draft picks, and their fanbase to acknowledge their “rebuilding” plans… the same “rebuilding” phase the Pirates, KC, and the A’s have been doing in the past… what? 20 years?

    Comment by Mike — November 22, 2011 @ 5:01 pm

  158. Have we all forgotten the point of Moneyball so quickly? Find the inefficiencies and undervalued opportunities in a system that other miss. The new CBA introduces many more rules and facets, but it also introduces opportunity to find new strategies. Draft spending may have been the Rays’ successful strategy in the recent past (although that strategy is hardly a secret anymore) but that won’t stop the smart people in the Rays office from squeezing the new extra 2% out of the new rules of the land.

    Comment by MikeM — November 22, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

  159. So you also need to create a level playing field in other aspects of the game, such as free agency. Create a salary cap if you’re going to create draft cap.

    Comment by Connor — November 22, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

  160. That is pure BS, Mike.

    Comment by Blue — November 22, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

  161. Connor, how is the new system preventing them from signing those 8 extra prospects? If the Rays have the top pick in the draft, they can draft the most talented player without having to worry about whether he’ll be out of their price range. If they have the 8th pick, they can sign the 8th best player. The new system doesn’t make it more difficult to get the best player available.

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 22, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

  162. This was the two percent. This was the only thing that kept the Rays competitive in the AL East. The MLB robbed them of their research and strategies.

    Comment by Connor — November 22, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

  163. There are hardly any “full ride” baseball scholarships, even for the best players. If there were any of them prior to the CBA, there sure won’t be in the future.

    Comment by Blue — November 22, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

  164. It makes it more difficult to get the best talent to sign. Dual sport athletes can say goodbye to baseball. High school players can be disappointed with their slot and head to college.

    Comment by Connor — November 22, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

  165. Mike, your very response shows how clueless Yankees fans are. How many years in the last 10 have the Yankees NOT gone to the playoffs?

    Comment by Blue — November 22, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

  166. I agree that if a high school baseball/football player is good enough at that point to be a certain first round pick, he’s definitely going with the 7 figure bonus and saying nuts to football. But you won’t see toolsy, high-upside, yet unpolished players (like Domonic Brown) being taken in later rounds and offered bonuses that will sway them to professional baseball over college football. Will that really make much of a difference? Probably not, but we’ll never know because it won’t happen anymore.

    Comment by mcneildon — November 22, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

  167. It won’t be the fact that they will have NO advantage, because we can all agree their scouting is upon the best. This new CBA just cuts the advantage by a significant margin.

    This is because harder to sign players slide in the draft with their sign-ability. Teams can say, I believe this guy deserves the money they want, and pay them over-slot later in the draft (say rounds 3-8) in order to sign them and give them the money they deserve. This has been a place for huge surplus value.

    Now, those prospects, once they pass their desired amount (lets say mid round 2), they will decide to play basketball or go to college. That advantage is now gone. An 5th round pick must be used on someone that will want $150K instead of getting value out of selecting the best player.

    Comment by Clemsor — November 22, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

  168. Remember that baseball in the island was as good as dead once MLB players refused to play in the winter leagues, thus devoiding their league of their best players, and at the same time, money generators both during regular season and the Caribbean Series, which they’ve won just ONCE from 1996 to the date, after winning 3 out of 4 in the early 1990’s (since then: DR has won 9, México 4 and Venezuela 2).

    In fact… baseball has been in such a bad state in Puerto Rico in the past 20 to 30 years that other countries have had to take the series off PR to ensure it will be played (they always report no earnings in every Series, while other countries like México report huge earnings).

    Comment by Mike — November 22, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

  169. So, let me get this straight–big market teams are at a disadvantage because they are always competitive?

    Comment by Blue — November 22, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

  170. Mike, your comment makes no sense. It costs $100 million or more to sign a impact player as they hit free agency and it costs less than $10 million to add high impact talent in the draft. Forcing small revenue teams to not spend over slot in the draft only saves a few million dollars, that ain’t gonna help one bit in their attempt to keep their stars in house.

    All it does is close a avenue to add impact talent while not affecting rich teams ability to do so in free agency.

    Comment by PiratesHurdles — November 22, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

  171. They’re already in the union and the same rules apply to them as well as their country’s and international rules.

    Comment by Mike — November 22, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

  172. Kevin S, that is nonsense. Those parity numbers are generated because the low revenue teams occasionally do well while the rich continually do well. It is based primarily on revenue and not talent evaluation. (Before you jump, yes I know that good decision making is key, but its not fair when only certain teams get to make those decisions while others sit and watch).

    In the NFL and NHL all teams essentially spend the same amount and the best teams are those who do the best job acquiring talent in a fair manner, not by simply purchasing whomever they want with an open checkbook. You think its a coincidence that Pittsburgh’s two teams in those sports are dominant, but the team in baseball is a joke?

    Comment by PiratesHurdles — November 22, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

  173. The Yanks won’t, they’ll just have to wait until he has been developed by a loser team and acquire him once that loser team needs to trade that player to ensure having a bad season the next year… oh wait, that’s what actually happens! DOH!

    Comment by Mike — November 22, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

  174. I’m not talking about the top 10 picks, I’m talking about rounds 2-50. Many very talented HS kids with collge commits get picked there and they often sign for bonuses around $1 million. That will no longer be possible, basically unless a kid is picked in teh 1st round, he has little incentive to sign. So, other than the top 10 or 15 prospects, most HS kids will go to college and try to improve there stock, there is little incentive to signing for a slot 50K when faced with a scholarship offer (that’s why I said the majority of HS kids).

    Comment by PiratesHurdles — November 22, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  175. Pirate,Under your assumption the pool would be no deeper because the high school seniors from 2015 that would have been first round picks will be off to college. If anything it would hurt the Red Sox and Yankees in the next couple drafts before evening out again. Most of these guys in the first few rounds are gonna sign anyway. You may lose a few to scholarships but most of these guys will go pro. Guys were using the threat of college ( Josh Bell for the Pirates last year Swiihart for the Red Sox) to get big paydays out of high school. They just lose that leverage now. Most of them are not as sincere about college as they pretend to be.

    Comment by sheath1976 — November 22, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

  176. Possibly, or they could be playing both college football and baseball. If they find out they are better in baseball, that’s where they will end up.

    Comment by schlomsd — November 22, 2011 @ 5:33 pm

  177. No they are at a disadvantage because they can’t time their core prospects together. They couldn’t possibly do what small markets clubs do with all their lack of money.

    Comment by Clemsor — November 22, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

  178. How do they get to sign more and better players? Those overslot kids will be in college instead of the minor leagues.

    Comment by PiratesHurdles — November 22, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

  179. I can argue it. The Yankees have changed their international philosophy recently, and have begun to allocate much more resources to it. They spent the 2nd most money in the MLB in that market last year ( But again, I’m sure we’ll read about what they used to do rather than their current philosophy. By the way, I’m a Red Sox fan.

    Comment by HodgyBeats — November 22, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

  180. MikeM:

    What Fred is saying is that Dave choose to blatently call out the Yankees in this article for seemingly no reason (beyond his obvious bias). Reading the comments of this article it is hard to see how the Yankees really benfit that greatly from this new CBA. Losing teams can now spend more than double winning teams on IFAs and losing teams are also much more guarenteed to get the top draft talent. The Yankees and other winning teams have to now almost singularly rely on the Free Agent Market and trading their soon to be few prospects, something no team really wants to do. Before the Yanks could use their finacial might to not only sign any Free Agent they want but also any IFA and give huge over slot bonuses to kids.

    Yes the Yankees currently spend more on FA’s than other teams but even they have their limit. They have been flurting around the $200mil payroll for about 10 years while many other teams have been growing their spending year after year. I beleive this CBA will act to bring up the median salary spending across MLB not raise the top (the Yankees).

    Lastly, you seem to imply the that Yanks spend more becasue their owners are richer than others? That is simply not the case. The Yankees just are in a larger market so have a bigger revenue. If the CBA really wanted to fix this issue they would do what the English soccer league does namely: The home team of each game splits the ticket sales (and for baseball we could do avg daily TV revenue and hot dog sales etc) with the visiting team. This would still favor the Yankees who play much larger crowds regularlly, but it would give smaller market teams more money revenue to play with as well. Whether the teams owners decide to just pocket it or reinvest it in the teams is another matter.

    Comment by Peter R — November 22, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

  181. Nik, that’s just not true. College baseball teams are required to spread 11.7 total scholarships over their 27 scholarship players. Each of those 27 guys must receive at least a 25% scholarship. At very good programs, this means that most of the team is on 25-75% aid, and their families are paying thousands out of pocket.

    Couple that with the incredible rising cost of going to college, and it makes a football or basketball 4-year full ride very different than a baseball scholarship.

    Comment by notsellingjeans — November 22, 2011 @ 5:41 pm

  182. What dave does not like has nothing to do with small market teams. His real beef is what this does to a certain team who traded it’s farm system for Erik Bedard, Locked up Chone Figgins for four years, traded Asdrubal Cabrera, and signed Richie Sexson to an expensive four year deal. The Mariners have used Asia, Europe etc. the last buch of years and he smells that going up the chimney. The Mariners have a decent payroll they have just spent their money like crap the last buch of years. The reason they are doing all this with international players is to force them into the draft in a few years. Players from the Dominican, Venezuela, Japan etc. have resisted an international draft but these spending restrictions on international free agents wil have them begging to join the “de facto slotting system” in a couple years.

    Comment by sheath1976 — November 22, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

  183. The extra 2% will be leaving Tampa Bay for Montreal in 15 years.

    Comment by notsellingjeans — November 22, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

  184. “it’s not like MLB would be less enjoyable because a handful of people chose to play a different sport.”

    I disagree with this. Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. are arguably the two most athletically gifted people to have played MLB baseball in the last 25 years. Fans would have missed a lot of special highlights and moments if those two guys had been steered toward football or basketball instead.

    Sure, lots of multi-sport bonus babies flame out…but part of what makes sports interesting is seeing the exceptional guy whose performance rises above all others. If elite athletes don’t pick baseball, there’s less of that. There’s just a huge cluster of relatively average athleticism and performance, which is less compelling.

    Comment by notsellingjeans — November 22, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

  185. @Blue Don’t hate on the Yankees because the team you root for are pocketing the revenue share money they get from THE YANKEES, and instead of investing in MLB talent they choose to buy a yatch, spend in the minor leagues to develop players to later trade them and… you get the idea.

    The Yankees will continue to be good as long as there are free agents and loser teams refuse to sing long term their best talent in fears of becoming a good team unable to get good draft picks and with their fanbase asking “why didn’t you do that in the past 20 losing years we’ve had?”

    As for parity in teams going to the playoffs, in the past 5 seasons, out of 10 possible slots per division in the MLB (maximum 2 teams per division, per year), let’s see the percentage of teams making the playoffs:

    AL East: 60% of teams (NY, TB, Boston chokers)
    AL Central: 80% of teams (KC is the only one left out)
    AL West: 50% of teams (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from California from USA and Texas)

    NL East: 40% (Phillies, Braves)
    NL Central: 66% (Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs, Reds)
    NL West: 80% (Padres are the ones who have not been)

    NFL looks bloated but that’s because there are more divisions with less teams per division and more slots to the playoffs per season, per league (6 per league, 12 total) than in the MLB (4 per league, 8 total, maximum 2 per division).

    Comment by Mike — November 22, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

  186. The big market teams were watching and copying. It’s only a loophole till others figure it out.

    Comment by sheath1976 — November 22, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

  187. So wait… We’re lamenting that the SMALL MARKET teams can’t draft first round talent in the 4th round and pay over slot? Seems like the problem would be teams like the Yankees doing that. And if it’s truly an inefficiency that “only” a few teams have figured out, those only last a few years now days.

    Comment by Brian — November 22, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

  188. Big money international signings by NY:
    Hideki Irabu
    Hideki Matsui
    Kei Igawa
    Orlando Hernandez
    Adrian Hernandez
    Jose Contreras

    Comment by Dale Mohorcic — November 22, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

  189. Now that they have no shot? Am I missing how they have had a chance in recent years, or are the Pirates still riding an 18 year playoff drought?

    Comment by Brendan — November 22, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

  190. Let me see if I have this right.

    These changes were written by “Steinbrenner”, implying that they’re bad for small market teams, yet:

    1) Regardless of which teams have actually spent the most money in the venue, rich teams can no longer dole out ridiculous overslot money for turds such as Brackman, for no good reason except the money to sign him was pocket change, and the small chance he’d be any good was still better than the other turd available to them at 30.

    2) Now amateur prospects will either sign for the team which prospectively owns their rights or receive less money by threatening to sign later.

    Yeah, because every kid wants less money.

    3) International free agents, most of whom I doubt (with their agent’s beckoning) would be inclined to sign for a team which would never play them (how many “kids” graduated from the Phil’s, Yanks and Sox systems the past 3 years, again?), now can’t be bowled over with cash…. by those teams that would never graduate them, anyway.

    If I’m a amateur FA, I’m signing with the Pirates, baby. Or similar others… you get my drift.

    4) With these changes, all these amateurs have been disincentivized to seek the biggest buck, paving the way for them to be promoted faster, thus making the truly big money as Major League ballplayers..

    5) Free agent compensation was lowered, so small market teams now have more incentive to keep their young, instead of dumping them faster than taco turds because of high pick compensation.

    Did I miss anything?

    This is a retarded writeup.I also agree with MFY fans, in that Cameron’s main drive is to shit on your organization any chance he gets.

    To all those agreeing with it, all I can say AGAIN is, for Christs sake, will you people please find a better knob to slobber on? Use your own mind for once.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwwingg — November 22, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  191. The Padres passed on Verlander and Stephen Drew and chose Matt Bush because of signing costs, that’s indisputable. The new system will now make top picks far more valuable for small market teams, knowing they can draft and sign the best available talent. The only incentive a player can have to refuse to sign and sit out a year is if they are likely to be drafted much higher, and given the risk and time value of money that’s a big if.

    And ballplayers aren’t going to choose football instead of baseball because they are “only” getting one or two million. One or two million is far more than the vast majority of college football players will ever sign for, so again it’s a huge gamble to think you can get more in another sport. And it’s not like any of these athletes are forgoing a similarly lucrative career as a lawyer, doctor, or investment banker.

    Comment by ValueArb — November 22, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

  192. And don’t confuse signing bonuses with total contract size. Verlander was demanding a huge contract, that’s why the Padres passed, they couldn’t risk not being able to sign him given their limited budget. Verlander’s total contract was a guaranteed $4.4M, and it was a major league contract which carried other obligations.

    It appears Matt Bush signed a $3.15M minor league contract without any additional obligations on the part of the Padres.

    Comment by ValueArb — November 22, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

  193. The Pirates had a chance this year, thank you very much :mad:

    But looking at the bigger picture, Pirates GM Neil Huntington inherited a barren farm system in 2007, and proceeded to rebuild by trading any player of value for prospects, and spending more $ than any other team in baseball on the draft (including many over-slot bonuses to later round picks) from 2008-2011. Huntington’s evaluation of ML talent seems to be spotty at best, but at least there is a coherent plan to acquire as much talent as possible.

    But thanks to the new CBA, future teams will have to spend like the Pirates under Huntington’s predecessor, Dave Littlefield, who only drafted players that would sign for slot (or close to it) and instead plowed money into useless free agents like Jeromy Burnitz while trading for Matt Morris and his bloated contract.

    Comment by gonfalon — November 22, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

  194. “Yes, the Yankees can’t spend on the draft either, but they can spend money in free agency, a luxury many teams do not have”

    What is this luxury you speak of?

    One of the more valid topics this site is how many, if not most free agents are real bad deals. Or do you actually think that Crawford, Teixeira, ARod, Lackey, Matsuzaka, Jenks, Burnett, and Soriano are good deals, who would make any organization better?

    Let’m spend till they’re broke. The successful route to success in baseball is via youth.

    Comment by Sultan of Schwwingg — November 22, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

  195. Well said Schwwingg. Dave Cameron has as much journalistic integrity as Stalin had true Marxist intentions. A handful of people here get that he is pimping his cause (The Seattle Mariners who are not a small market team), or massaging his ego by exploting the scientific process by cherrypicking advcanced metrics to support his pre determined thesis. Make no mistake he’s out to manipulate impressionable others to further his own selfish cause.

    Comment by sheath1976 — November 22, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

  196. As long as the NFL is on, they won’t have to worry about people watching either. Even if it is the Yankees, the NFL will still outdraw the World Series.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 22, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

  197. “How does this penalize the small market teams? How often do you really think they overslot as opposed to big market teams?”

    The figures on draft spending are publicly available. Perhaps you should look them up before hitting “send,” for fear that you will reveal that you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

    Comment by matt w — November 22, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

  198. I’m sorry Mike, but you really have no clue what you’re talking about.

    Comment by JohnnyComeLately — November 22, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

  199. Disagree with TK. There may be more money in baseball, but the length of the season essentially guarantees that your family life will suffer. Plus getting drafted into baseball leads to years of toiling away in the low-pay minors, whereas football draftees collect on a much shorter timeline.

    Comment by Caleb W — November 22, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

  200. They’re not being penalized for being good. If you have no uncertainty of outcome, people don’t care. No one cares about baseball. It’s a joke. On Tosh.0 there was a joke “do we really need 162 games to find out that the Yankees bought another World Series?” That’s how most people see it. There is no uncertainty. You have a few teams that could go either way, but you know the Yankees, Sox, and Phillies will be good and that the Pirates, Royals, and Orioles will suck. Sometimes there is slight variation, but not really.

    Bud Selig sucks at his job and it’s why baseball isn’t as popular. Copy and paste most of the NFL’s CBA. More rev sharing and a hard cap and minimum. Competitive balance increases revenue for everyone.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 22, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

  201. DAVE CAMERON IS PISSED BECAUSE HE HAD VISIONS OF THE MARINERS BUILDING A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET. In the long term I think this draft thing actually helps out the small market teams in the long run. Baseball will lose a few players to other sports but this slotting system will not hurt small market teams.

    Comment by sheath1976 — November 22, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

  202. Not only that Frank, but with the hard caps, what is now the deciding factor for players? I will make basically the same amount when I get drafted. If I’m a high school senior or college junior, do I say yes to the Royals or Yankees? Hmm, if money is no longer something they can dangle in front of me, I’m going with the Yankees. Signability is now lower on average for small market teams as opposed to large market because guys want to play on winners.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 22, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

  203. No the draft is not a level playing field. Notice if you will the worst team picks first and the World Series winner last. Something else no one has mentioned how this slotting system has helped small market teams. Everytime a team overslots a player it drives up the costs of draft picks. This will supress the costs of IFA’s and draftees going forward allowing them to stay competitive down the road.

    Comment by sheath1976 — November 22, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

  204. Kevin, I think Atlanta’s theory is that probably 90% of prospects fail, even a high percent of first rounders fail. So why bother? You can likely find someone at or under slot value who has nearly as high of a chance to succeed. It’s not like Atlanta was passing up Harper as the first pick. Given their great track record in drafting, I think their theory is pretty good.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 22, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

  205. What do you mean the Yankees won’t be able maintain a decent farm system? They have some of the best in the game. Eric Hosmer and Mike Stanton ring a bell? In fact, the Yankees have had the number 1 farm system for the past 100 years. Who do you rely on? Sickels?

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 22, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

  206. I’m still up in the air about this… I think it will help smaller market teams overall by ensuring the top talents will go to the worst teams rather than them being out-priced by draftee demands. However I disagree that the big market team will miss out on talent. Granted a player picked early in the draft should have a better chance but everyone is focussing on the first round. How many first round picks turn out to be flops, regardless of who drafted them? The history of the draft is littered with gems from the lower rounds, chosen by teams that did their jobs properly in the scouting department. If big market teams scout properly then they could easily get ace talent in lower rounds. For example, Jake Peavy was a 15th round pick, Mark Buerhle was drafted 1,139th, Jorge Posada 646th, Randy Wells in the 38th round, Orlando Hudson in the 43rd. Good scouting is the answer for big-market clubs with low picks. And if that fails they can always go out and buy a team of stars when they hit free-agency at their small market clubs.

    Comment by Luke — November 22, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

  207. lol because the “one and done” guys in basketball really spend time in the classroom. Or if they do, Calipari gives them his notes.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 22, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

  208. It may be bad for baseball at the moment, but at least these kids will potentially go to college instead of because a minor league burn-out at 25 w/o having nearly the same options

    Comment by SouthPawRyno — November 22, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

  209. Kevin are you drunk? MLB doesn’t have anywhere near the parity of the NFL. In MLB, there hasn’t been a single post season without either of the Yankees or Sox. Don’t even know how many have had both. Not only that but the Pirates haven’t been in 20 years, the Royals in over a decade, Orioles, etc.

    Baseball has luxury tax and some rev sharing. However, with no salary floor there is absolutely not incentive to put money back in.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 22, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

  210. It is a bad deal but it doesn’t mean they won’t do it. Whether or not they overpay or not, they are still getting an above average player (in most cases). Small market teams have no chance at doing that so the draft is much more important to them.

    Comment by Connor — November 22, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

  211. On the plus side, this should see that leech Scott Boras’ bonuses in the draft come down. Shame the CBA didn’t have a rule banning him from the sport too :/

    Comment by Luke — November 22, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

  212. Mike, using how many world series a team wins as a gauge of their “success” is pretty dumb. Especially considering the Yankees have more world series in my lifetime (born in 1989) than about 95% of other teams have in their entire history.

    Winning the world series is 1 team. Let’s be a little more intelligent. “If making the playoffs every year but 1 in the last 15 or so years is owning year in and year out….the Red Sox have enjoyed comparable success”.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 22, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

  213. Mike, it’s not just playoffs, it’s also teams below and above .500. MLB doesn’t have that. In the NFL, teams rise and fall and rise and fall every few years. How long until you think the Astros will be competitive? How long until the Orioles will be above .500?

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 22, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

  214. Domonic Brown and Dexter Fowler? They probably should be playing football, baseball is not their cup of tea.

    Comment by sheath1976 — November 22, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

  215. Gotta agree with JCL. Your need to respond to every comment is getting pathological.

    I was thinking the same thing about the union, Kevin R…there is no incentive for current players to protect the rights of amateurs. It’s like expecting old folks to support tax spending on education.

    If anything, the agents are the only ones who have an incentive to drive up the cost of amateur talent, and obviously they weren’t invited to the table. (Not saying they should have been there.)

    Comment by Caleb W — November 22, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

  216. I’m also wondering if the Yankees or someone similar would overslot massively to get a top ten draft pick to fall to them in the late 20’s, despite the penalties. They may decide it’s worth getting one premium talent every two years by foregoing a lesser talent at say 27th in the draft the year after. Perhaps a team with a pick at say 25th might feel it is more beneficial for them to overpay for a almost sure-fire star (even though there is rarely such a thing in the draft) and then overslot throughout the draft to ensure one really good draft and then think “well we can now afford to lose mediocre picks in the first and second round next year as they’ll be pick 25-level talent. Perhaps developing one really good draft class one year is worth a wash-out the next? This is just a thought, not an opinion. What do you guys think?

    Comment by Luke — November 22, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  217. They over-slotted for Burnett I know that much.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 22, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

  218. I’m still puzzled that the owners of the small and mid-market teams didn’t push for a salary cap, increased revenue sharing, or maximum player salaries. The NBA knows it has a competitive balance problem, and is willing (so it appears) to take an entire season to fix it. Baseball seems perfectly fine taking one step forward and 2 steps backward toward true competitive balance.

    Comment by Bascinator — November 22, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

  219. Also, they won’t be able to accumulate nearly as much young international talent.

    Comment by JohnnyComeLately — November 22, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

  220. As if there wasn’t already a big talent shift to other sports because kids from a young age like basketball and football more. Baseball has that RBI program to get more athletic black kids. You don’t see the NBA with a “Suburban White Kid Initiative”.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 22, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

  221. Fortunately that isn’t necessary in most Division I basketball and football programs.

    Comment by Tim — November 22, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

  222. Okay, sure they can pay for it, but they can ALSO build a farm. It’s not mutually exclusive. The yankees can draft and develop and sign international free agents AND sign free agents. It’s like if I say “go from Japan to brazil to florida” and one guy has a boat, a plane, and a car, and you only have a boat. It’s going to take you a lot longer because you don’t have the options.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — November 22, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

  223. It doesn’t matter who does more over-slotting. It matters who benefits more from over-slotting.

    Comment by Llewdor — November 22, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

  224. They get to outbid the more succssful teams by tiny amount. A $5 million difference across all international free agents (per year) is peanuts.

    Is getting an extra $500K worth it to an international free agent if it means he has to play in Kansas City, or Toronto? He’d get a higher profile and more enorsement money and a better shot at a championship by signing with the Yankees or Red Sox, so he’ll now do that.

    Comment by Llewdor — November 22, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

  225. If you are a Rays fan, Pirates fan, Royals fan etc. read Mr. Cameron’s article, NEW CBA HURTS MARINERS IN A BIG WAY over at U.S.S. MARINER. Link is below. His fuel for this article is self centered. This CBA hurts his Mariners and he spins it like it every small market team which it does not. It does however impact the Video Game ownership of his team.

    Comment by sheath1976 — November 22, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

  226. The point isn’t that none of the post-6th round prospects that signed for overslot, but that they made a lot of sense from a risk/reward standpoint. For a team like the Pirates to load up on as many lottery tickets as they could at a reasonable cost is a way to get ahead using picks that would, usually, result in organizational players. The failure rate for players taken after the 6th round is incredibly high, so paying more for ones with higher upside or probability of success made sense to the Pirates.

    Comment by Miles — November 22, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

  227. >>Verlander’s total contract was a guaranteed $4.4M, and it was a major league contract which carried other obligations.

    >>It appears Matt Bush signed a $3.15M minor league contract without any additional obligations on the part of the Padres.

    So in other words the Padres made a really stupid decision, and it cost them Justin Verlander.

    Comment by cpebbles — November 22, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

  228. The Yankees will be stuck behind the cap too so they are equal playing terms with small market teams.

    Tampa: Draft Cap + No Free Agent money = Low Quality team
    New York: Draft Cap + Free Agent Money = Fine

    New York isn’t killed by a draft cap, because they have viable alternatives, Tampa Bay does not.

    Comment by Connor — November 22, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

  229. I feel like there are a lot of misconceptions here. Many are arguing (following Cameron’s misguided logic) that small market teams wont be able to exploit the strategy they have now for signing draft choices. This is entirely beside the point. Whether they can follow the same strategy with the new system is irrelevant (they can’t, but who cares?).

    For Cameron’s thesis to be correct it must be the case that talent that would have gone to small market teams is now going to the big spenders. No one has put forth any argument as to how the Yankees are now going to get top talent that otherwise would have gone to the Rays and Pirates.

    But if the Yankees aren’t getting the talent then who cares?!

    I can’t see how this does anything but benefit all the teams. Cameron is complaining because he thinks he sees something that currently benefits small teams. Well it doesn’t actually benefit small teams. The Pirates aren’t “pulling a fast one” on the Yankees by paying over slot down in the draft! Its just what they feel they have to do to keep the players from reentering the draft in the current system. They aren’t getting over on the Yankees (who could do this too). In fact it is the amateur players getting over on them. The amateur players are saying to these teams “Your only commodity is young talent, so if I don’t sign you lose a draft choice”

    The slotting system will take the guess work out of the whole enterprise. The best draft slots will still go to the teams that lose free agents and that performed poorly. However now that all of the leverage that the drafted players had is gone teams can just ask players if they are willing to sign before they are picked. There is no incentive for a player to lie since he essentially has no bargaining room. His only incentive is to get drafted as high as possible.

    What this might do is change the landscape of the draft a little bit. Teams will choose lower level talent a bit higher than they might otherwise to keep them from seeking a higher draft slot later on. College players with no where else to go except the wasteland independent leagues will have to take what they get.

    Thinking this hurts small market teams is misguided at best. Thinking this helps the Yankees (as Cameron implies with his incendiary title) is completely absurd. So absurd, in fact, that no one has even bothered to show how it could possibly help them.

    Comment by Jason — November 22, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

  230. Mr. Cameron, I can tell you that there are no Yankee fans who like this CBA.
    This CBA will ruin the 2 sport athlete and IFA.

    Comment by JohnnyBGoode — November 22, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

  231. Has there been a single post-season without the Colts or the Patriots in a really long time? Nope. Despite all of the non-payroll related randomizing factors in the NFL, baseball does just as well by virtually any other parity measure.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 22, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

  232. Miles: I understand the strategy. I think you missed my point, which is that under the new CBA, they won’t need to buy lottery tickets. If this system works, the legitimate best talent will be available to them where they pick, and that talent will not have the leverage to tell them he won’t sign.

    Comment by Paul — November 22, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

  233. I think an extra $500k is huge when you are from Cuba or the Dominican Republic. $5mil is not peanuts, that is as much as the Yankees spend in a year total on international talent. Most likely that bonus money is all he is ever really going to see anyway, the chance of getting an endorsement deal is a long shot for any 16 year old foreign kid and if he got to that level he would be set for life anyway.

    Comment by Cliff — November 22, 2011 @ 9:32 pm

  234. So, JD Drew can no longer sit out a season until a team meets his extravagant signing bonus demands.

    This seems to ensure that the draft will serve it’s purpose, the best players go in the top picks and to the worst teams. The best talent on the worst team is not likely to toil in the minors for years.

    The best player in the draft will no longer fall to the middle of the first round and go to the team that can afford him.

    The IFA spending cap won’t mean that teams will stop signing them, only they’ll get even less money. It’s still more money than they’ll get doing anything else.

    Also the dual sport athlete is likely to choose the sport that gives him the best earning potential and/or the sport he likes best. I also think we’re over-estimating the number of guys that are capable of making it to their FA years in both the NFL and MLB. Are these guys really going to turn down a million bucks to go play NCAAF for less money? I doubt it.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — November 22, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

  235. The life expectancy of football players is also significantly shorter, that should play a role in “lifestyle.”

    I recall a time that Golden Tate was looking toward baseball as his sport of choice, then won the Biletnikoff and went to the NFL. Same situation for Jeff Samardzija, but he chose baseball.

    Multi-sport stars are better off going to college anyway, working on their sports for a few years capitalizing on whichever, if any, sport they end up excelling in. If it doesn’t work out, they’ve got a degree!

    Comment by BlackOps — November 22, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

  236. Dave are you capable of having a coherent opinion regarding the Yankees? Anything that limits spending HURTS the Yankees, read RAB or anywhere else. Yankee fans HATE this deal. Don’t you fucking dare put this turd on us.

    Comment by Omar — November 22, 2011 @ 10:32 pm

  237. ” Don’t the NFL and NBA have hard slotting? Are people avoiding those sports because of it? ”

    and how many draftees does the NBA pay?
    2 per team? 60 total?

    Comment by cs3 — November 22, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

  238. ” Well, baseball still has an advantage in that you can go from high school to the pros. Athletes in basketball and football don’t have that option. Some kids might need $4 million to be swayed from college football, others might take $40,000. ”

    or they can go somewhere like USC and have the best of both worlds?

    Comment by cs3 — November 22, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

  239. True, the new draft rules don’t directly help the Yankees, except maybe if draft prospects are more inclined to sign with them versus, say, Oakland based on prestige or something along those lines.

    It does, however, indirectly benefit the Yankees in that it takes away the ability of a team to allocate money on high risk, high reward talent that is under team control for a longer period of time an significantly cheaper. If scouting and development is the way to offset the large market teams’ ability to spend on FA’s, then restricting the ability of teams to spend based on their amateur scouting handcuffs that remedy, thus empowering the teams that can heavily invest in FA’s.

    The Yankees are just as affected by the CBA in that they can’t spend a ton of money on international FA’s and over slot picks. The difference is, they can just throw a few extra dollars onto an offer for a guy like Cole Hamels if they choose. The A’s and Rays of the world can’t do that.

    Comment by manley — November 22, 2011 @ 10:52 pm

  240. Which teams exactly are following that model?

    Comment by BSally — November 22, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

  241. so how much will teams be willing to spend for the next Bryce Harper?

    how good does an amateur have to be to justify punting 2 first rounders AND paying a 100% penalty?

    Comment by cs3 — November 22, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

  242. In football if you miss a game, you don’t get paid. There is a lot more insurance for the players in baseball. That said, they took away one of the big forms of player insurance: signing bonuses.

    Comment by Barkey Walker — November 22, 2011 @ 11:05 pm

  243. When they were juniors.

    Comment by philosofool — November 22, 2011 @ 11:05 pm

  244. The talent drain argument is bullshit. Total bullshit.

    The talent level in 1910 was far, far lower than now. You still would have loved baseball.

    Comment by philosofool — November 22, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

  245. The big winner with this CBA is college baseball.

    Comment by Vision — November 23, 2011 @ 12:03 am

  246. I think slotting is a terrible idea for three reasons (one of which has been stated, but two which I haven’t yet seen).

    (1) As has been stated it does nothing to address differences in revenue or market size; it penalizes good teams especially those that are better at player development. It doesn’t explicitly help the Yankees; it just hurts the Red Sox, Rays and Blue Jays more.

    (2) It is inherently unfair to amateur players. The baseball CBA not only binds a player to the team that drafts him for six years of Major League service, it also binds him for as many as an additional six years of Minor League service. Bonuses paid to draftees are not excessive when you consider that they are essentially giving up 12 years of a basic right to access to the free market.

    (3) Finally, I think the big loser will be the minor leagues, especially the lower minor leagues. The new CBA removes the incentive for players to postpone college; the number of high school players opting to sign professional deals will drop. This will really lower the quality of A ball on down.

    Comment by Patrick — November 23, 2011 @ 12:17 am

  247. “How many first round picks turn out to be flops”

    Compared to any other round? Not many. Sure you can get lucky by drafting Piazza with the 1500th pick in the draft, but having a top-10 pick is an enormous advantage.

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 23, 2011 @ 12:30 am

  248. But would a top ten pick fall to them in the late 20’s? With slotting, players are basically drafted according to talent. People won’t slip in the draft the way they do today.

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 23, 2011 @ 12:33 am

  249. The NBA was bleeding money faster than the Mets, so they had to completely revamp everything. Most baseball teams are doing fine.

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 23, 2011 @ 12:34 am

  250. It’s not a Yankees rant. It’s a “the system is broken and doesn’t work” rant. There is no point in even having some of the smaller market teams if they are essentially never going to make the playoffs. Ideally from a fan point of view, the system should be set up to reward the best run franchises and not the franchises with the highest revenue stream.

    That’s part of the reason why the NFL is so popular. It doesn’t matter how big or small the market is, the smartest teams win. MLB popularity nationwide would increase over time if they found a way to create more competitive balance.

    Comment by Eric — November 23, 2011 @ 12:40 am

  251. I don’t think teams would punt 2 first rounders. I think it takes so much leverage from the draftee that they’d have to sign for close to slot. The alternative is waiting a year, then getting offered slot again. Hell, Strasburg was a once-in-a-lifetime prospect. If Washington gave up 2 first rounders to meet his asking price, they never would’ve gotten Harper.

    Comment by vivalajeter — November 23, 2011 @ 12:48 am

  252. Look, the talent available is finite. Someone has to sign these players. If the Yankees aren’t signing them (Cameron’s implicit and silly suggestion) then someone else is. The teams with the most and highest draft picks are getting to get the best players. Same as ever. ….they will just have to pay them less.

    Comment by Jason — November 23, 2011 @ 1:55 am

  253. lol.

    Comment by Telo — November 23, 2011 @ 2:52 am

  254. Disagree. You replace the old advantages with new ones. Things change. It’s difficult to know exactly how the changes will manifest in the standings. To declare it an abject failure is melodramatic.

    Comment by Telo — November 23, 2011 @ 2:59 am

  255. People need to stop assigning a hard cap to parity.

    – Put baseball on a 16game schedule…. think there might be more worst to first transitions?
    – Give last place teams an easier out of division schedule the following year and a harder schedule to the 1st place teams.. think that might have a slight effect?
    – Give baseball teams the ability to tear up any contract they don’t like… think that might hasten turnarounds?
    – Make injuries a much more significant part of the game…

    I’m amazed at how people are so easily able to distill the parity in football being mostly just the result of a hard cap and nothing to do with hundreds of other different variables between the sports.

    Comment by Joe — November 23, 2011 @ 5:02 am

  256. Yeah I don’t get the circular reasoning in the article… isn’t the draft supposed to give teams with the worst record the shot at the best (perceived) talent…. now it’s about whisper #’s and whether a team is willing to go overslot (and is this correlated to market size?). It hurts the draftees, but I don’t get the it helps big market teams reasoning – because in it is baked in some assumption that the current ability to go overslot is correlated to market size and small market teams are more likely to go overslot to compete… put up some data with some correlation coefficients if this is one of the thesis of the article.

    Couple this with the crazy lottery thing and you have the 10 smallest market teams getting 3 picks in the first 2 rounds while everyone else has 2… that is a huge advantage, despite the more ridiculous handwaving that a sandwich pick isn’t all that great (which is yet more Dave spin to serve his conclusion).

    I see a whole lot of handwaving and very little analysis of the data; I would think on a SABR site you see some detailed analysis and data to support a would be narrative.
    – Are overslot players more likely to get to the majors?
    – Do they turn out to post more WAR?
    – Does market size correlate to a team going overslot?
    – Similar questions on the IFA market.

    There are some real pretty basic things that could have been done or looked ar to make this a credible article and not what just looks to be another whine-fest

    Comment by Joe — November 23, 2011 @ 6:09 am

  257. A different Mike responding (which is why I added the #2 after).

    To Antonio Bananas, I think it’s kind of silly to compare over/under .500 teams in the NFL vs MLB For 1 thing the NFL is only 16 games long. I know it’ s a 4 month long sport but 16 games is still just 16 games and a single play in the NFL can determine the game, as much as a single play in baseball. A single play in 2 different games (Say 2 wins in OT or 2 losses in OT) can easily determine whether a team is above .500 (9-7) or below (7-9). 2 games seems like it’s nothing, but it’s 1/8th of a season, or 12.5%

    Comment by Mike2 — November 23, 2011 @ 7:46 am

  258. Now allow me to say I think the tax penalties and losing of draft picks DO suck and I find it unfair, but I think teams that have excellent scouting will know what Draft it would be good to go over a limit for and what draft would good not to exceed the limit on. The only draft that will be hurt each team is next year’s draft in which you lose 1 or 2 picks and get taxed. And as I said, a good scouting team will know when a great draft and an average draft will take place. And I suppose 1 other bright side is the added extra lottery picks each team gets, it’s basically a free first rounder again.

    So again, do I think it sucks? Yes. But I do not think it hurts teams as much as you all are making it out to be. The tax money sucks but it’s not like they are paying $20 million in taxes. Losing next years pick(s) sucks too but a good scouting team will know when to spend up to the amount and when to spend more.

    I have a question though, as it says if you spend over the limits by 10-15% you lose a first round pick. What if your club was a part of the 6 club lottery for the draft the next year. Do you lose that pick as well?

    Hopefully I understood all these new CBA rules right and what I put makes sense.

    Comment by Mike — November 23, 2011 @ 8:54 am

  259. vivalajeter, you are thinking about this only in the context of the first two or three rounds of what is a very long draft. It is probably true it won’t make a difference in the first couple of rounds, and depending on the depth of the draft and career position of the players in it, some years it could be irrelevant a round or two farther in.

    Where it makes a huge difference is when you get later in the draft where young kids have entered the draft to see what they are worth, with the idea if they don’t get a contract they are happy with, they will go to college and re-enter the draft. This is where small-market teams over-slot and really bring home the bacon.

    Now, over-slotting will almost never be worth the penalty to these small-market clubs, and so those players will simply not enter the draft, knowing that they won’t be a high pick capable of drawing a big bonus until they are a couple years older and have climbed to the top of everyone’s expected list.

    Comment by Nathan — November 23, 2011 @ 9:26 am

  260. You missed a lot…

    1) You are only thinking of early in the draft. Think about later in the draft where the young players with high risk/high reward lie. Those are the players that will stop being available to SMTs in the draft, because they will simply have to wait longer when they are projected as a higher round pick to make the money they feel their talent is worth.

    2) No argument with you here.

    3) That argument is just a guess. I can guess with just as much rationality that IFAs are more likely to sign with BMTs, despite a potential lack of playing opportunity, because those teams have more marketing and exposure throughout the world.

    Neither what you mention or my retort to it is the real point. The real point is that capping anything OTHER than what can be paid to existing ML players gives BMTs an advantage. Not because the concept of capping IFA money doesn’t hurt SMTs and BMTs alike, when viewed in a vacuum, but because when looked at in the full context, the BMTs have the $$$ to purchase the same talent at the existing ML level market rate, while the SMTs do not. It’s an “addition by subtraction” kind of thing — take away the areas where SMTs can find an advantage, even if it takes away some potential successes from BMTs, and try to leave only the areas where BMTs can succeed.

    4) No agreement. But I will say, that is something that hurts SMTs because those players getting to ML market values faster hurts SMTs and helps BMTs, for what are pretty obvious reasons.

    5) This is all wrong. You don’t think the Rays would love to have all the talents they have drafted and/or developed over the last six or seven years still in the fold? Of course they would — they’d be the deepest team in baseball. The problem is they aren’t able to. Lowering the compensation makes it worse for teams like the Rays, because now not only are they unable to retain the talent they drafted and/or developed, but they get an even smaller reward for the work they did developing that player.

    Sure, it happens where a team dumps a player because the compensation is a bigger incentive than the player. But that is precisely why lowering compensation hurts SMTs and helps BMTs.

    Comment by Nathan — November 23, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  261. First reason — young and highly talented players that would be over-slotted in the later rounds of the draft to prevent them from going to college and re-entering when they know they will have a higher draft slot will now fall to drafts in later years.

    Second and more important reason — by taking away areas where both SMTs and BMTs can find an edge, your hurt SMTs more, because they have less areas to gain an advantage than BMTs.

    Let’s say W, X, Y, and Z represent three “areas” where a club can manipulate the system to gain an advantage.

    Before this new CBA, this is what the pool of “areas” where BMTs and SMTs could find an advantage looked like:

    BMT = W +X + Y + Z
    SMT = W + X + Y

    With this new CBA, the “areas” of X and Y have been eliminated. So, BMTs and SMTs can now look for advantages this way:

    BMT = W + Z
    SMT = W

    BMT now has 2x as many ways to gain an advantage over SMT, whereas it used to only have roughly 1.3x as many ways to gain an advantage.

    Obviously this is a gross simplification because there are probably more than four “areas” and those “areas” should be weighted differently. The reason I still think this makes the point is because in the example Z is the ability to spend on existing ML talent, and I think it is clear that Z, no matter what, carries the most weight.

    Comment by Nathan — November 23, 2011 @ 9:53 am

  262. I hope you realize that doesn’t go counter to what manley said.

    Comment by Nathan — November 23, 2011 @ 9:56 am

  263. I didn’t read all of the previous 257 comments to see if someone suggested this, but….
    What if Team A just overspends grossly on every draft, thereby losing first round picks for the next 50 years or whatever, but players will hold out and say they won’t sign with any team except Team A, because they know Team A will give them all the money in the world even though they’ve been drafted in the 2nd round and onwards?
    If you were Strasburg, and Team A (let’s call them the Spankees), said, “Yeah, there’s no hard cap on signing bonuses, so Stras, if you sign with us, we’ll give you $30mil for 4 yrs, tax be damned!”, if you were Stras, wouldn’t you tell every other team that you’re not signing unless that figure is matched?

    And also, what if every team (or even more than half the teams) just ignores the silly rule, and forfeits first round picks? Doesn’t that sort of defeat the purpose of forfeiting, since all the missing picks sort of eliminates an entire round of players, thus making the 2nd round feel like the 1st round anyway?

    Comment by SC2GG — November 23, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  264. Nah college football wins. Now their is a system that they can exploit.

    Comment by sheath1976 — November 23, 2011 @ 10:20 am

  265. The NBA only looks competitive because more than half of the teams can make it to the playoffs. In terms of championships there’s very little parity in the NBA that’s why you see a lot of consecutive championships in basketball. For example, since 1999 (13 seasons) 10 championships combined have been won by two teams, the Lakers and Spurs.

    The financial playing field in NBA isn’t leveled at all. Why the hell do you think the league was losing so much money? That’s because the large market teams makeup so much of the total revenue (salary caps are based on total revenue) and this has hiked up player value to more than the small market teams can really afford. Many of them were going over the soft cap and losing a ton of money.

    Comment by someguy — November 23, 2011 @ 11:11 am

  266. Happy Thanksgiving Dave! I hope you are feeling better.

    Comment by psychump — November 23, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

  267. Nathan,

    I hope you realize (actually i don’t really care, just being snarky), that despite his claims of indirect benefits to the Yankees, because the Yankees never have any draft picks and because teams will now be able to sign their picks cheaper and easier that this in no way benefits the Yankees, indirectly or otherwise.

    Comment by Jason — November 23, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

  268. “First reason — young and highly talented players that would be over-slotted in the later rounds of the draft to prevent them from going to college and re-entering when they know they will have a higher draft slot will now fall to drafts in later years.”

    Who cares? A player not being in the draft hurts or helps no team. So the landscape of the draft changes? This doesn’t hurt or help any team relative to each other. If anything it will make the scouting easier since more experienced players are easier to project.

    “Second and more important reason — by taking away areas where both SMTs and BMTs can find an edge, your hurt SMTs more, because they have less areas to gain an advantage than BMTs.”

    How is any team finding an “edge” with the current system?! Seriously, show how overpaying for players down in the draft is an “edge”. Please document how players who were paid more than their draft position outperform their peers. I will be absolutely shocked if they do.

    The way to be successful in the draft is to have lots of picks, have high picks, have good scouting, and have a handful of luck. The new system still favors teams that aren’t the Yankees. Same as it ever has.

    …even in the highly unlikely scenario that there is an edge being found with these players, why is the system worth preserving? If the Yankees decide that there is an advantage to be had, they will just play the game bigger and better than everyone else like they always do. After all, if they want, they can pay over-over-slot and make it known that they are willing to do so. If they signal they want a player, players can then make outrageous demands before the draft preventing teams from choosing them. …but this is fantasy land, because these players aren’t worth the money. They are essentially lottery tickets bought by desperate franchises.

    Comment by Jason — November 23, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

  269. Well said Joe.

    It is doubtful that there is any advantage being gained at all here. And if there is, it should be easy to quantify. …and if there really is, there is nothing under the current system to prevent the Yankees from exploiting it anyway, so who cares?

    Comment by Jason — November 23, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

  270. ValuArb, Starling would have passed on baseball if his bonus had been half as much.
    Obviously, I would have liked that.
    Where was this Bizzaro World system when Nebraska needed it?

    Comment by Husker — November 23, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

  271. Question,

    As I understand it, you pay a penalty and give up draft picks if you are x% over slot. Wouldn’t this still put the Yankees, Boston etc in the same position as before? Afterall, they can afford the penalty and any draft picks that they lose (likely low draft picks, given their success) can be compensated for on the free agent market.

    So…why would this new rule stop the Yanks or whomever just buying the best pick and then paying the penalty? It seems to me that this new rule hampers the smaller-market teams with less ability to pay the penalty and rely on the draft that much more.

    Comment by Statement — November 23, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

  272. Justin Verlander went to the Tigers because the Tigers were a bad team in 2003. In fact, they were a bad team from the mid 1990’s to 2004-05.

    Comment by Jessy S. — November 23, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

  273. So where did small-market teams get a break elsewhere in the agreement?
    I must have missed that part.

    Comment by Husker — November 23, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

  274. I really hate the changes in the draft and international FA rules.
    I hate the Wild Card play-in even more.
    I have always hated the fact that the richer teams keep getting richer and the poorer teams keep getting poorer (relatively speaking).
    I have always hated the time wasted in games due to the pitchers standing or walking around and the multiple reliever changes and conferences on the mound.
    I think my New Year’s resolution just might be to give up MLB.

    Comment by Husker — November 23, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

  275. Viva – a huge % of college baseball players only get partial scholarships. Some don’t even get scholarships at all.

    Comment by SaberTJ — November 23, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

  276. Not sure if this is a sarcastic comment, but it if isn’t you do realize they can’t join until after they are signed or drafted right?

    Comment by SaberTJ — November 23, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  277. Pirates – All MLB teams that draft HS players include the payment of a college education down the road should baseball not work out. This is not as big a deal as you think.

    Comment by SaberTJ — November 23, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

  278. I assume you meant to say exempt?

    Comment by SaberTJ — November 23, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

  279. The worry is more about the ability to sign players out of the first round that might otherwise choose to go to college or play another sport. Paying them 6 to 7 figures to influence these players decisions will be virtually impossible financially due to the taxes/penalties.

    Comment by SaberTJ — November 23, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  280. I think the reaction to these new rules is a bit misguided. 2012 may be messy, but afterwards the lsmall market teams come out pretty well.

    Remember that in 2013, free agent compensation picks essentially go away. There will be a handful of players who garner their old teams a comp pick, but their new teams also LOSE a pick, so it offsets. The lost picks DO NOT go to the player’s former team. They’re just lost. This means after a 30 pick first round and six pick lottery, round 2 starts at pick 37, every year.

    Lets pretend the 2011 actually takes place in 2013. The Seattle Mariners were the second worst team in baseball and had 2 picks in the top 100 in 2011. In the 2013 draft they’d pick 2, 38, 68, and 98.

    The Pirates would have 5 top 100 picks including their lottery selection. Signing Cole would’ve been a slam dunk. Josh Bell, maybe not. He’d likely have gone earlier based on his talent level. But he’d very likely sign because what else is he going to do? Wait 3 years and move a few slots and still get hard slotted?

    How about KC and Bubba Starling? Sure he could opt to play football instead. But they have a fixed rookie salary too and unless he’s sure he’s going to be a first rounder, he’s not going to make more money. That’d be a huge, huge risk. If his decision is all about the money, he’s got to sign with the Royals.

    And as far as choosing careers as a young kid based on money, baseball is still the obvious choice. You’re going to make a lot more in basbeall than football if you’re any good at it. Your career will last a lot longer and your paychecks will be a lot bigger after only a few years of service time.

    And soccer already pays a lot more than baseball for those latin american kids, if they have the opportunity.

    Comment by J — November 23, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  281. Sounds more like it was written by Marxists.

    Comment by Retnan — November 23, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  282. “ValuArb, Starling would have passed on baseball if his bonus had been half as much.”

    Nope. He would have passed on baseball if he thought he could get twice as much in the next baseball draft. Now high draftees have almost no incentive to try to re-enter the draft, they certainly can’t increase their contract size enough to justify it. The only reason to sit out is minor, to get in a different (better) organization, at the huge risk of injury/poor college performance hurting their draft position.

    To get as more than $3M from an NFL team would require Starling to be drafted in the first round or at the very top of the 2nd round.

    And the odds of that are far from a lock. He has to put a few years in college, prove he his capable at the college level, avoid serious injury in a brutal game, avoid off the field issues that would lower his value, etc.

    There is no more negotiating game with the new CBA. The baseball draftees have lost almost all negotiating leverage, and now have overwhelming incentives to sign with the team that drafts them. This is beneficial to the teams with the best draft picks and clearly a change for the better for small market teams.

    Comment by ValueArb — November 23, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

  283. This argument is flagrant idiocy. The notion that small market teams could “compete” long-term in a market for amateur talent which resembled, to a greater degree, a pure talent auction every year, is frankly bizarre. Baseball used to have that system, remember? Back in the 1950s? When just about every fucking World Series was won by New York teams who could buy up every prospect?

    [Apologies in advance for the forthcoming rant.]

    Go look at spending figures IN RELATION TO SLOT MONEY. Absolute figures tell you diddly squat. The small market teams picking first through fifth in the draft SHOULD BE SPENDING FAR MORE MONEY THAN THE LARGE MARKET TEAMS. If large market teams were spending as much as small market teams, IT WOULD MEAN THAT THE SYSTEM WAS ALREADY RADICALLY BROKEN.

    Oh, and did you notice that, you know, the teams picking first will STILL get to spend more money than the ones picking last, since their picks have higher slot values? Which is, you know, exactly what you’re bitching about– except that ability to spend will actually be based on balancing competition and not on an owner’s whims?

    Good lord, what a dumbassed post. This system is obviously beneficial to small-market teams vis a vis an uncontrolled draft-spending arms race, which is what the amateur draft had begun to evolve into by the last few seasons with the breakdown of slotting– and I haven’t even had to mention the extra picks for small-market teams yet.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — November 23, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

  284. Even if overslot spending was correlated with small-market status (it’s not; I’m pretty sure it’s in fact correlated with LARGE market status, though I haven’t run the numbers and the correlation is not particularly strong in any direction), it would mean nothing.

    The fact that some number of large market teams are dumb and not spending what they could be on amateur players is not a long-term solution, when they could– at any point– simply choose, on a whim, to take away the small-market teams’ putative “advantage”. And particularly when the draft cartel is (or, now, was) falling apart to a greater and greater degree every season.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — November 23, 2011 @ 5:50 pm

  285. I’ve yet to see numbers which actually compare team spending to slotting.

    I’ve seen plenty of discussion of raw spending amounts, on the other hand, notwithstanding the fact that those figures are completely off point.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — November 23, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

  286. Care to advance some actual evidence to support this aggressive and, not to beat around the bush, totally counterintuitive claim?

    Comment by Paul Thomas — November 23, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

  287. Ha. Exactly what I guessed.

    Large-market teams are not required by law to employ idiots as GMs. If overslot signings are a good investment, you can bet that, on the whole, they’ll do more of it than small-market teams will.

    Dave’s argument is arrant nonsense.

    Llewdor: That argument is desperate, and at the very least, requires some hard evidence before anyone ought to take it seriously.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — November 23, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  288. It’s less about veterans “not liking” the idea of younger players getting signing bonus, as just being indifferent to it. (Keep in mind, if it wasn’t for the fact that free agency is related to draft-pick compensation, the MLBPA wouldn’t even have any say over the draft at all.)

    The PA didn’t sell young guys down the river with this CBA. They got a big salary boost for players making the league minimum, and increased the number of Super Twos. If you want to castigate a union for screwing young players, focus on the NFLPA.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — November 23, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

  289. The correct equations are:

    Tampa: No free agent money + high draft cap
    Yankees: Free agent money + low draft cap

    Unlike the factually false equation you just posted, this one does NOT have an obvious winner. It may be that free agent money outweighs a low draft cap– I don’t know– but you can’t just assume it without evidence.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — November 23, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  290. “W” is no longer the same for all teams, making this argument bogus.

    The ACTUAL new system is more like:

    BMT= W+Z
    SMT= X*W

    where X is a multiplier representing the fact that small-market teams get larger amounts of slot money under this system (particularly so if they’re losing a lot of games).

    Comment by Paul Thomas — November 23, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

  291. Mike, I think the word is “discourage”

    Comment by Za — November 23, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

  292. The system will still be gamed…. I could see a team clustering overspends in one draft… once you overslot significantly on one guy and lose the pick, might as well go all out in future rounds in that same draft (and then it’s just an issue of the tax). Once that informally gets known… prospects could conceivably leverage teams so they don’t get picked in slot (as they now have a legitimate option in later rounds).

    To get to your point though there is a financial component… once you go overslot significantly I think it’s a 100% tax on the amount overslot (so there is some financial impact)

    Even the IFA rules can be gamed… busting that cap only means the following year you are restricted to no more than 500K (or 250K) on any one player (and the tax on the overspend). Of course IFA’s don’t have to sign so say a guy the Yankees want the following year they can’t sign since they are capped at $500K… well obviously this prospect will know they won’t have a cap the following year (or the team may remind them of that – wink, wink)… so maybe they just continue to play in their baseball academy and the following year they get the multimillion dollar offer.

    Comment by Tom — November 23, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

  293. Connor… how about Tampa Bay almost assuredly getting an additional first or 2nd round pick every year? (the competitive balance lottery)

    Comment by Tom — November 23, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

  294. Uh, if baseball’s too “slow” or “unfair” for you, you should probably go watch a 4 hour Super Bowl with the Steelers in it again, and stop complaining already.

    Comment by James — November 23, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

  295. That’s my point though, they would drop because the player would make it clear he was only going to sign for x amount of money over the slot price, thereby falling to said team that has stated they will overslot for him. Similar to what happens now…

    Comment by Luke — November 23, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

  296. I agree, you obviously have a better chance with a first round pick, thats why they get the big bucks after all (or used to). But I’m just saying that with the right scounting there’s no reason for big market teams to believe they can’t pick up stars in the draft in later rounds.

    Comment by Luke — November 23, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

  297. Someone needs to stop hating on Mike here. His points have been explained differently be other posters on this same page, and they have received a ‘plus’ and not a ‘minus’. It is clear that there are economic reasons the new agreement reduced the cash being thrown around. Maybe the guy who obsessively dislikes Mike’s posts should get his head out of the sand. On television shows, they instruct guys to be contrarian for a more in depth evaluation of a paticular idea. To take Mike’s angle might actually bear some truth, because the teams that have sucked and still suck must have been doing something wrong. Conspircay is a totally different story, but somethings gotta give with teams that sit at the bottom for years on end.

    Comment by justin — November 24, 2011 @ 10:17 am

  298. I still like the deal because the best talent will go to the worst teams.

    This both helps these teams and gets the prospects to MLB faster. Having these prospects in the minors means they’re invisible to most fans. If it means more guys go to NCAA first, then good. That ‘ll help scouts evaluate (especially with new bats) and help players develop.

    As for the CBA and MLBPA, the union did what unions do, they get the best deal for their members. It is not the unions purpose to negotiate on the behalf of non-members. Many unions have internships or trial periods before membership is granted. This is to ensure that the most talented and commited gain membership, as opposed to those that just want bigger money and benefits. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

    The alternative is to have a true open market where everyone is a FA. The draft was implemented specifically to address the issue of the best young talent not going to the worst teams. With a true open market and no draft you could have a situation where the huge market team’s AAA team is better than some small market ML teams.

    The draft slot is a good idea. The cap on IFA’s is also a probably good thing. We’ll just see non-MLBPA members get less money. Not inherently a bad thing.

    The NYY due to their tradition and market are likely to have the advantage in any system. If less money goes to players via the cap, then the owner will just pocket more. No other team will be able to match their earning power b/c no other team has 27 rings or resides in a 20M pop market, let alone a wealthy market.

    The main thing is that the worst teams now have the best chance at getting the most/best young talent for a good price. This helps the worst teams, which are often small market teams. These teams, however, will still need to plan to make a run every 5 years as they can’t win and get the best talent at the same time. But they shouldn’t have to endure decades of futility.

    It should be understood though, unlike NBA that drafting one player such as LeBron or Rose will not turn around a franchise due to the number of starting players. But a team that loses 3 consecutive years should get enough talent to be successful for 3-5 years or as long as those players are under team control. There is still the issue of too many prospects not being eventually MLB caliber starters.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — November 24, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  299. Because they are the ones who can’t afford to acquire talent on the free agent market, so spending a little bit extra for superior amateur talent reaps greater rewards for them than, say, the Yankees, who can afford to go get most of the talent they don’t develop, albeit in a much less efficient fashion. But hey, I guess that’s counter-intuitive.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 24, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

  300. And you bought their steaming pile of bull? When David Stern’s best example of the NBA losing money is a man who made a windfall from his short ownership of his franchise (Bruce Ratner), then maybe he’s full of shit.

    Comment by Kevin S. — November 25, 2011 @ 12:02 am

  301. family life does not necessarily have to suffer, and I am guessing that a players family life may suffer more after a football career simply because baseball players don’t lose nearly as much cognitive brain function. Careers are longer in MLB. The money is guaranteed in MLB, not so much in the NFL. College football is still a crapshoot for a player.

    Comment by pirate — November 25, 2011 @ 1:10 am

  302. It hurts small market teams because now they can sign the same talent for less?

    The reality is the same talent is in the draft regardless of whether teams can go over slot or not. But now the talent can’t sit out a year to get a better deal from a different team, the talent is pretty much forced to sign for slot.

    So not only can the small market teams pick the same players they would have picked anyways and pay them less, but no longer will they be forced to pass on talent that has extreme signing demands. They can start picking the highest rated players with little fear of not being able to sign them.

    I can’t believe how many posters are so confused by the fact that small and mid market teams spent so much in the previous drafts. of course they should spend more, given the better draft positions. And also they realized they could pick up talent cheaper throughout the draft even if they did break slot, so they became more likely to pick the higher ceiling guys with the bigger demands than they were a decade ago.

    But now they can pick high ceiling guys and pay slot, so they win. The Yankees don’t get some magic jump to the front of the draft option out of the CBA, which they effectively had (but never really exercised) in the old CBA. Simply tell Scott Boras you’ll pay a $10M signing bonus and he’ll make sure his guy falls to you. Can’t happen now.

    Comment by ValueArb — November 26, 2011 @ 5:01 am

  303. The Yankees’ll be fine. They’ll adjust and adapt. For all the talk of the “Core Four” they were surrounded by FA’s, salary dumps, and shrewd trades…

    The farm is but one way to build a team.

    Comment by Raf — November 26, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  304. If an IFA has a choice between a large market club and a small market one, all things equal why would they choose to play for the Pirates instead of the Yankees?

    Comment by Raf — November 26, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

  305. “Anything that limits spending HURTS the Yankees,”

    Prime example, MLB collusion in the 80’s

    Comment by Raf — November 26, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

  306. It seems to me that that small market teams will benefit for a more extended period, but the FA market will now require more money….meaning the BMT still will have an advantage with their money, but that has ALWAYS been the case and ALWAYS be the case.

    I think we may have a couple of SMT that will compete for the additional playoff spot then we do now. That is my summation…nothing radically changes.

    Comment by RangerRed — November 27, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  307. It’s counter-intuitive because it fails utterly to account for the fact that if spending money on amateur talent was really the kind of investment that could routinely produce playoff spots, the Yankees could easily blow every other team out of the water, spending-wise, under the current system.

    Also, your speculation is not “actual evidence.” You made a historical factual claim (small-market teams benefitted more from over-slotting). You’ve done nothing close to supporting it.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — November 27, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

  308. This is entirely wrong. If it is in the best interest of the Yankees/Red Sox to spend a lot of money on amateur players, they will outspend the Pirates and the Royals. This limits their ability to do that. This is GOOD for small market teams and BAD for big market teams.

    Comment by joe — November 28, 2011 @ 3:12 am

  309. Also, when you compare total expenditure, it would be interesting to look at spend after the first round. Those numbers are inflated by the high priced picks at the very top of the draft. The Red Sox and Yankees aren’t competing for those players at all. If you look at money spent after the first round, I’m certain you’ll see that the Red Sox have been flexing their financial muscle in the draft for many years now. This limits their ability to do that and makes it a more even playing field for small market teams.

    Comment by joe — November 28, 2011 @ 3:15 am

  310. They don’t get into the MLBPA until they accrue enough service time at the ML level.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — November 28, 2011 @ 9:32 am

  311. Re-visiting this article two years later. At the time, Idisagreed with Dave’s assessment (and others) that this deal is beneficial to big-market teams, namely the Yankees. Since they have been consistently good, the Yankees ability to use money has helped them sign international free agents, as well as create a market in the June amateur draft that encouraged some players to insist they wouldn’t sign so that they’d fall in the draft so they could get more money from teams like the Yankees and the Red Sox.

    Watching this CBA unfold over the past two years has made it clear that the wealthy teams have been hurt more than the smaller-market teams. If a Steinbrenner wrote it (which he didn’t), then he made an error.

    Comment by RobM — August 1, 2013 @ 7:11 pm

  312. Great point, Raf! How’s little MJ?

    Comment by Gehring — February 9, 2014 @ 7:28 pm

  313. You pathetic moron…

    Comment by Gehring — March 11, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

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