Jayson Stark is pushing the most awful idea I've ever seen. He'd "fix" the draft by imposing a signing cap. I'll let him explain it so I don't water down the exquisite stupidity:
So what happens if hard slotting doesn't fly? Well, one alternative is a concept we discussed earlier. And that would be a different kind of cap -- one that wouldn't deal with specific signings. It would instead impose a limit on total spending on amateur players, whether we're talking Stephen Strasburg or a 17-year-old kid from Caracas.
Here's how that would work: So you want to give Aroldis Chapman $30 million, huh? Cool. Go right ahead. But understand the consequence of doing that. It might mean you'll be giving more money just to him than you'll then be allowed to give all your other amateur players combined. That's the concept behind a cap on total signing dollars. You'd be allotted a signing pool for all amateur players combined. Then it's up to you how to divvy it up.
A signing cap would eliminate the best route that lower revenue teams have for stockpiling talent. As it stands now, a team that's struggling at the major league level can reallocate resources to amateur scouting in an effort to rebuild its talent base, spending more than other teams in an effort to catch up. It's possible to succeed that way because amateur talent remains much cheaper than major league talent, despite the increase in bonuses in recent years. Under a signing cap, teams with higher payrolls and more talent at the major league level would be assured that struggling teams couldn't gain any ground on them. A system like that would have a terrible impact on competitive balance.
Well, OK, Stark does go on to say that there's a possibility that teams would get a bigger cap based on draft position. But does anybody really believe it'd be done that way? Is the union going to agree to anything that limits the Yankees' and Red Sox' spending, even if it's only in the context of amateur talent? MLB has always placed the goal of reducing expenditures above competitive balance. There's no way it'd insist on a system that would allow the Pirates and Royals the extra money they'd need to spend, above and beyond the limits for the wealthier teams, in order to play catch up successfully. There'd be no weeks like the one the Pirates just had.
Jayson Stark has proven himself to be a menace to the hopes of the fans of lower revenue baseball teams. For this offense, I sentence him to one month of reading Bob Smizik posts.