The Pittsburgh Pirates have two of the top 30 picks in the Major League Baseball Draft in 2020. However, the 2020 draft might not happen because of the suspended season.
The Major League Baseball season has come to halt due to COVID-19 virus. This is not breaking news; the Pittsburgh Pirates and the rest of Major League Baseball have been shut down for the foreseeable future, with Opening Day possibly be pushed back to as late as June or July.
However, the suspended season is not the only thing in jeopardy of not happening. In fact, something that may be just as important to the Pittsburgh Pirates might not be happening either. Major League Baseball is considering not holding the draft this year because of the circumstances at hand. According to Ronald Blum of the AP News, the league is considering this option to help save money. Here is what Blum had to say on the financial fears of holding the draft:
"With the prospect of expected cash not coming in from tickets, broadcast and sponsorship contracts, teams have told the commissioner’s office they are fearful they may have to lay off administrative staff. Signing bonuses for amateur players total about $400 million annually."
Really? This is more of the same. Let young, amateur players who have worked for this moment their whole lives put their young lives on hold so the billionaire owners can save money in their bank account. The costs of the draft are a small percentage of the owner’s fortune that they likely would still make the money back in the future. Are Bob Nutting and the other owners the ones pushing this, or is it the league? It is hard to say, but of course the year the Pittsburgh Pirates own two of the top 30 picks the draft is going to be suspended over money.
Meanwhile, for college players especially, it has a much bigger effect. By making these players wait another year, they become another year older. A college junior getting drafted at 21 versus getting drafted at 22 will change his value. College seniors who are 23, but end up having to wait until they’re 24 will not even get a chance to sign with teams. Meanwhile, high school players now have to determine if they can take a year off and get drafted the next year or go to college.
This really complicates things for the young men who have worked towards this their whole lives. This could make a player drop in the draft, costing him the money he should have gotten, or even some players not getting drafted. It is good to see that Major League Baseball is continuing to show a lack of regard for the young adults in their league. Everyone knows that Minor League players are very underpaid, but now the league is potentially abandoning their future talent to save a small portion of the organization’s overall value. Be better Major League Baseball.