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MLB considers skipping the June Draft

Everything’s up in the air right now.

Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB via Getty Images

In the midst of labor discussions between the teams and the union, the possibility of canceling the June Draft is being discussed. Everything in the economy is a quagmire, with players wanting to be paid, and credited service time, in times of an emergency. Anything seems on the table, per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press:

Major League Baseball is considering skipping its amateur draft this year and putting off the next international signing period as a way to preserve cash while games are affected by the new coronavirus, people familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press.

Talks between management and the players’ association are ongoing and include the contentious issue of major league service time, which determines eligibility for free agency and salary arbitration. MLB has proposed crediting full service for 130 games or more and proportional service for a shorter season, the people said on condition of anonymity because those details have not been made public.

Ownership is used to having ticket and sponsorship revenue incoming. Lacking that, and with union representatives wanting compensation, nixing the draft, which requires signing bonuses as the carrot to signing, is an option. Toss in that the international signing season might get kicked down the road, and that a roster freeze is possible, everything is at an impasse.

If, I say if, all the other concerns are addressed in an acceptable fashion, minor league salaries could be discussed. As I view the landscape, the organizations with 150 actual full-time minor league athletes will have an edge over the teams with 85 and three dozen clerks at a grocery or home supply store that train in their spare time.

Taking sides is a popular activity. If things spiral too far out of control, we might lose one of the things we've grown accustomed to. Competitive athletics as a diversion. I'm good with the increase in isolationism, as an introvert. However, the lack of any ballgames is making any sort of normalcy disappear. Part of life has become choosing one team over another. Until that returns, all that can be discussed is the future. As the draft is a part of that, the absurdity compounds. Be safe.