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International baseball draft in the works

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MLB and its union appear to be getting close to agreement on an international draft

MLBTR is reporting . . . well, re-reporting . . . that MLB and the MLBPA hope to have an international draft in place by June 1. Although the recent CBA imposed spending restrictions on international signings, the intent all along was to replace those restrictions with a draft.

Once this is done, Bud the Impaler will have driven the final nail into the coffin of lower-revenue teams' efforts to compete despite rapidly increasing revenue disparities. The spending restrictions probably, if anything, helped the Pirates due to the growing effectiveness of Rene Gayo's scouting network. Apart from recent breakout Dominican prospects like Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson, Gayo was finding prospects in less-blanketed locations like Colombia (Dilson Herrera and Harold Ramirez) and Taiwan (Jin-De Jhang). The scouting will still count for a lot, but a structured draft will tend to reduce the advantages a team can gain by putting extra resources into its international efforts.

But, hey, somebody needs to protect the Yankees from the consequences of blunders like the A-Rod deal or they might miss the playoffs.