Late on Wednesday night the Associated Press reported that Major League Baseball was looking at skipping the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft and pushing off the next international signing period. Both of these moves would be made, according to the report from the AP, as a way to preserve cash.

With the game on hold right now, along with the rest of the world, is on hold and unsure of what is coming, much less when. College baseball is finished – the College World Series has already been cancelled, as has the regular season. High school baseball around the country is pretty much the same. Major League Baseball has told teams that as of right now they are to suspend scouting of any kind until further notice.

Teams have scouting information on anyone they are likely to have drafted this season. It’s rare that a team winds up taking a guy in June that as of March 1st they’ve never laid eyes on before. But it still does make a difference in having that up-to-date information. With no baseball going on, teams would be struggling to scout. And with teams closed off from private workouts, there’s nothing they could scout in that form, either.

Let’s assume that the draft is cancelled for 2020, as is the international signing period. That would save each team, roughly $13,000,000. For some teams that would be less, and for others it would be more depending on where they fell in the draft and how their pool allotment worked out.

From a pure Major League Baseball standpoint, that’s not nothing. From a baseball standpoint as a whole, it brings up a lot of questions. First, what does it do to the international market? Is the next signing period just going to be the 2020 and 2021 period with double pool amounts? What happens for college baseball? Without options, it seems that every high school player would be going to college – either a JUCO or a 4-year school. But that introduces some issues, granted on a smaller scale, of scholarships and roster spots for those schools. While the overall number of high school players who are drafted and sign is relatively small – that’s still hundreds of college roster spots that won’t be available unless college baseball expands things to counter this move, too.

11 Responses

  1. James K

    Another consequence: If minor league baseball plays at all this year, the teams have to be filled with players left over from last year, plus maybe those playing in amateur leagues last year.

  2. Tom

    How are teams coping with revenue projections? Seems like cash will be tight which would be the only reason to delay it a whole year. Other than that, get them drafted, accept the relatively minimal risk that you draft a dud as part of the context the world is in right now. But if there is too little money, I can see them pushing it back a year.

  3. Norwood Nate

    It does not seem beneficial to not hold a draft at all. It would effect and complicate future drafts, make scouting two classes at once a challenge, mess college rosters and scholarships, bring about questions of freshmen eligibility (if they would have left from HS) and leave current seniors out to dry. As was mentioned in the article, the guys have been scouted for this draft, just without the most recent data. That’s just going to have to be good enough for this year. It’s the option that make things less complicated and convoluted moving forward, and that’s the best one can hope for.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Agreed. To not have it would clog the pipeline way too much. It would be less than ideal, but regional showcases could help fill the void. Since everyone’s in the same boat, there wouldn’t be a competitive advantage so let the chips fall where they may.

      • eddie pagett

        MOVE THE DRAFT BACK TO AUGUST,CANCEL FALL LEAGUE AND USE THAT TIME TO HAVE DRAFTED PLAYERS USE THAT TIME TO HAVE BASICALLY SPRING TRAINING.

  4. RojoBenjy

    Cancelling the draft would have so many far and future reaching negative results that we could exhaust this thread listing them and not think of them all.

    What a dumb idea. What a heartless idea. What a near-sighted, knee-jerk reaction this would be.

    Dr. Mr. Manfred,

    DO NOT DO THIS THING.

  5. RojoBenjy

    Imagine that you’ve worked most of your life for your dream, knowing that you have a narrow window in which to possibly fulfill it. And then someone else decides that when your turn comes, that window will be closed for you.

    That’s why I call it heartless.

  6. Colorado Red

    what about college Seniors?
    Can they sign with whoever they want?

    • James K

      I would guess so. By current rules, they are undrafted free agents, right?

    • Doug Gray

      I honestly don’t know. I’d imagine James K. is right, but if they have the power to also cancel international signings, who are free agents, they have the power to cancel amateur free agent signings, too.