Rethinking the Draft: Ideas for the Next MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon III), Emperor of the French 1852-1870.

As you know, the MLB owners and players are currently negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Everything is under wraps at this point, but there are no hints about serious labor strife, which is quite refreshing considering what has happened in the past, and what has gone on recently in the less important sports. Changes in the draft are expected, although the alterations may be less radical than originally projected. The whole notion of a "world draft" for example, which is frequently proposed, may be unworkable.

In his most recent Baseball America "Ask" column, Jim Callis put forward some ideas about how he would change the shape of free agent compensation. Personally, I agree with Jim that the statistical rating system for free agents needs to be totally reworked, certainly using more advanced sabermetric ideas would help a lot. I disagree that compensation for "Type B" free agents should be eliminated, but I think it can be toned down, say making them worth supplemental second round picks instead of first. I am opposed to the concept of an international draft.

What do you guys think? If you were benevolent dictator and could rework the draft as you see fit in the CBA, how would you do so? Ground rules: you can't eliminate the draft, and keep in mind that your proposal is something that the union needs to go along with. You're dictator, but more in the relatively benevolent, conciliatory Napoleon III style than the original Napoleon.

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