“There were a lot of meetings and they heard us,” Cruz, 42, who is from the Dominican Republic, said of the union. “There were a lot of Latino players involved.”
MLB has said it is reviewing the international free-agent system, in which children as young as 16 can sign with teams, over concerns about corruption, performance-enhancing drug use and verbal agreements with children much younger than allowed, particularly in the Dominican Republic. . The Caribbean island has produced more baseball players than any other country outside the US
But the union, whose previous proposals to change the existing international entry system were rejected by MLB, has identified teams’ front offices and scouts as the culprits. After the new employment contract was signed in March, Tony Clark, the union’s executive director and a former player, called the challenges of the current system “largely associated with those cutting controls”.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred responded last month, telling reporters: “Our efforts to curb corruption in the Dominican Republic are ongoing and legion. It’s easy to say it’s people who foot the bill, that they’re involved. be with corruption But, you know, someone takes the check, right?”
MLB has proposed a 20-round draft for international amateurs starting in 2024, including $181 million in spending on the top 600 picks, hard rules on the bonuses awarded for each pick, and a $20,000 cap on signing undesignated free agents. The union responded last week with a draft of 20 rounds, which included $260 million in spending on the top 600 picks, looser rules on the awarded bonuses, a $40,000 limit on signing undesignated free agents, and a series of measures. which it believes could improve players’ development and education.
(After an amateur player signs with a team, the union won’t represent them until they’re on a 40-man Major League roster.)