Speaking on ESPN Radio’s "Mike & Mike" show, co-hosted today by ESPN baseball writer Buster Olney, Selig answered a question about the international draft by saying he wants one, and threw in hard slotting—as opposed to the current system, where the commissioner’s office recommends slots but has no real enforcement mechanism—as part of the equation.A couple of thoughts/questions. The international draft is going to be a huge administrative and financial undertaking. How will MLB verify the ages and identities of thousands of players all over the world who might be drafted? How will this affect teams like the Rays who have already invested significant funds in academies in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Brazil? What will the age and eligibility requirements be for potential international draftees?
"That’s one that there’s no debate in my mind," Selig said. "We need an international draft, and we need slotting. There is no question about it. I’ve had many clubs on all sides, small-market, big-market, medium-market—we’re going to have slotting, and we’re going to have an international draft. Those will be two of our great priorities in 2011. There’s no question about it. We need that. That is one that really exacerbates the differences (between organizations)."
As to the hard slotting, can someone explain to me how the MLB Players Association can negotiate the salaries of individuals who are not members of said union? With the draft going international, are other countries going to allow Donald Fehr in New York to set the future salaries of their young citizens? Something tells me there will be a lawsuit or two over hard slots.