Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has made it clear how big he feels the international presence needs to be in baseball during the coming years, and his assertion that an international draft of amateur players is a prime example of that belief.
“I’m very much in favor of the international draft. I’m impatient about it.’’ – Bud Selig
Selig has brought about a number of unpopular changes during his seemingly endless tenure as commissioner of the league, but there have been a few nuggets of positivity as well. An international draft would be one of those nuggets, but some teams would stand to lose from it.
Teams like the Texas Rangers, who aggressively pursue international players on their own accord, have built a sustained winning culture by going outside the traditional thinking and finding some hidden gems. But having a draft to level the playing field for all teams would cramp their style, and give a little help to the teams who haven’t shown the type of initiative as the Rangers.
The introduction of not only Latin American free agents, but other nations as well, has helped to fuel events like the World Baseball Classic and has given international competition in the sport a huge boost.
Time will tell if an international amateur draft will be implemented before Selig leaves his post (he says with a gleam in his eyes) but knowing the way he has pushed for his other ideas to become reality, it wouldn’t be surprising if it did.
If only Selig had been this passionate about adding instant replay to the game.