January 27, 2023

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As the deadline approaches, MLB faces a final international bid, sources say

As the deadline approaches, MLB faces a final international bid, sources say

With a deadline looming, MLB on Sunday submitted what was billed as a final bid regarding an international draft, ESPN sources reported.

Sources said that the League has increased the amount of funds that can be guaranteed to the 600 largest international players by 10 million dollars, from 181 million dollars to 191 million dollars. But the two sides are still very far apart, and the prospects for an agreement seem unlikely.

It’s unclear whether the MLB Players Association will submit another bid on Monday, or whether the union will take the latest MLB bid seriously enough to submit it to a vote among its player leaders.

The MLB has remained at $181 million since its proposal in March, when the collective bargaining agreement was ratified and the two sides agreed to submit a resolution on an international draft until July 25. The MLBPA’s first counter on July 8 asked for at least $260 million. The MLBPA stayed there during last Saturday’s counterattack, in part reacting to the fact that the MLB hadn’t budged about $181 million in the previous week.

If the international draft is approved, the qualifying bid system will be dissolved – teams lose draft picks as compensation for signing some mid- to top-tier free agents each off-season. If no agreement is reached, the current qualified supply system and the international market will remain the same, the latter being a concern across the industry due to widespread corruption.

The MLB and MLBPA also disagree on how slots work (MLB insists on hard slots, while MLBPA previously suggested slots work as a minimum) and the maximum that can be paid to non-operated free agents (MLBPA wants $40,000, MLB stays at $20,000). The MLBPA is also unhappy that the league has not agreed to a proposal that would increase bonus pools if the number of international signings decreased, among other things.

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The two sides could theoretically agree on an extension, but that seems unlikely as of Sunday night.