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Thinking About the Draft and FA Compensation

The larger question — and more difficult issue — is whether draft-pick compensation should be eliminated entirely...

In exchange for granting players free agency without constraints, the owners would want predetermined salaries for draft picks — in effect, a salary cap for players signing their first pro contracts.


A slotting system would be a disastrous idea for everyone involved.

It removes the chance for a high performing team (like the Yanks) to pick up higher end talent that falls due to sign-ability.

And it would prevent a small market team with a plan like the Twins or A's from taking full advantage of their scouting systems.

The only teams who would benefit from draft slots would be the tightwad small markets (Marlins) and the poorly managed (Pirates, O's, Royals).

Now, we can talk about a draft cap- something along the lines of "no player can earn more than 105% of the previous year's top contract."  That puts a ceiling on the money without eliminating the negotiations.

But the Player's Union should find some other concession, or ask for less.  Maybe MLB could leave the compensation system in place, but move up the expiration date.