One of our local talk sportscasters here in Chesapeake, VA was all over the notion to do away with the MLB draft. I figured he ripped the story off the wires and was reading it verbatum, but I couldn't find a thing about it anywhere.
That said, he made valid points, that would lead me to support such a move. Here's the gist of what he was saying.
Keeping the draft in its present form penalizes teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Mets, Dodgers who historically finish strong and therefore rarely get to pick a blue-chip athlete within the first 1 to 10 picks. Adding insult to injury, these teams are also the same ones typically penalized by having to pay the luxury tax -- generally to the same failing franchises that stockpile top-flight talent each year.
Not getting a top pick forces successful team to have to buy their talent--stroking big $$$ checks and shipping second-tier talent to the above mentioned failing franchises--again rewarding them for their ineptness and failures.
Doing away with the draft, he said, would allow teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets to aggressively go after the blue-chip talent--making it likely they would go to the highest bidder.
During the Yankees glory years of the 40s-50s, when there was no draft this was commonplace.
So how would this work? Well, big money teams would still pay the big luxury tax--to failing teams--allowing them to roll the money into player signing, or development of existing talent (which we all know they don't do now). Successful teams would be free to compete for the blue-chippers, but would be hampered (at least somewhat) by the luxury tax.
Frankly, I love the idea. I've never liked the draft because it rewards failure--year after year. I've often thought there should be a limit of one year to draft a top 1, or 2 player. Teams like the Rays who get the first pick would move to the back of the line in the next year--regardless where they finish.
Whether folks buy into doing away with the MLB draft or not, everyone should agree that the current system is horribly flawed.
I'd love to hear comments and suggestions on how others might want to rework, or redo the draft.