Although there has been no announcement of when exactly the 2013 MLB Draft will take place, we do know that the newest members of the AL West, Houston Astros, are on the clock.
We also know that because of the new qualifying offer rules applied to this year’s draft, the teams that could afford to offer 13.3 million dollar one year deals to their top free agents will receive an additional pick at the end of the first round. The Yankees look like the biggest winners as they will have three first round picks, two additional picks coming from losing Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano to free agency.
We also know that the Pirates will receive and additional pick for failing to sign their 2012 1st Round pick, Mark Appel.
Below is the complete draft order for 2013:
1) Houston Astros
2) Chicago Cubs
3) Colorado Rockies
4) Minnesota Twins
5) Cleveland Indians
Without a structured International Draft in 2013, any team is free to find the next Yoenis Cespedes.
To set the record straight, there will be no 2013 International Player Draft for MLB. There was a deadline that passed in June of 2012, so all will stay the same until Major League Baseball can come to some agreement on who will be included, what the caps are and how the draft positions will be slotted.
At first glance it seems to make sense to just lump all of the International Players in with the High School and College players every June.
This seems to be the only fair position and would eliminate some of the shady practices that come out of Central America. Each player would have to enter the draft and be verified as eligible. This includes having a valid birth certificate and being eligible to play in the US. Simple right?
Not quite. Some International players, Yoenis Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman and Ichiro Suzuki command mush larger salaries than MLB slots for each draft position and would throw the system completely out of whack.
So, what is the solution? Is there an age limit that make you a free agent? 23, 24, 25? Does playing in Cuba, Japan or in some other League qualify a player as a free agent?
There is no simple answer to this question, but, until it is figured out, the teams that do the best jobs of scouting south of the border and acquiring high caliber International Free Agents have a distinct advantage over those who don’t.
Apparently MLB will have this figured out in time to host a 2014 Draft, but, if I were you, I wouldn’t hold my breath.