This news is fairly new with not a whole lot of info to go on. MLB’s Commissioner, Rob Manfred, has not made any sort of statement on the report yet, either. However, I want to nip this thing in the ass before it even becomes a thing. If this report from the Associated Press has any merit, this low-key has to be one of the scummiest, most sport damaging things MLB has ever thought of doing. With the season still on indefinite hold and no light at the end of the tunnel, MLB and the MLBPA have been in preliminary talks about the delay and how it affects players’ service time. Obviously, the MLBPA wants this year to count no matter how many games are played. This allows for prospects and younger guys still on rookie contracts to make it to free agency on time and get that paycheck.
MLB and ballclub management, presumably, came up with the idea that skipping the 2020 Amateur Draft will help alleviate the financial pressure that teams are currently facing as no games are being played, thus, no tickets are being sold. Between all 30 teams, they reportedly spend $400mil on amateur signings each year. Using my expert math skills, that’s about $13.3mil from each team. Now take into consideration that each team is estimated to be worth somewhere between $1-$5 billion. It is ridiculous for a billion dollar company to punish a high school/college kid that’s just trying to make it in this world just because the company isn’t going to hit their financial goals for the fiscal year caused by a PANDEMIC. There are a few scenarios that came to my head if the draft is skipped and none of them are good.
High school senior – Either sit around and nothing, go to college that he might have to pay for, or join a semi-pro league.
College junior – Forced to play their senior year of college that he might have to pay for, drop out, or join a semi-pro league.
College senior – There have been reports that NCAA might grant spring athletes another year of eligibility, however, it is all speculation at this point. If so, player would have to pay for another year of college that he might not need. If not, players are forced to leave school and either sit around or join a semi-pro league.
Everyone – Regardless of where the player is in life, if they expected to be drafted in the cancelled 2020 draft they would then have to enter the 2021 draft. This would result in a talent-packed draft for the ages but would cause for a lot of players to miss the cut when they would’ve been drafted in 2020, no problem. Also, waiting another year can increase the risk of injury or falling off of a scout’s radar.
By the way, what happens to the draft picks that teams have ‘earned’? The Detroit Tigers were scheduled to receive the first overall pick after going 47-114 in 2019. Does that just roll over into 2021? What about the potential team with the worst record in 2020? There would simply be too many roadblocks and hurdles if the draft is skipped this year. All because some cheap ass teams (probably the Tampa Bay Devils Rays, to be honest) want to save a buck.