Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Latest Proposal Rejected by MLBPA
The 2020 Major League Baseball Draft might be one of the most important in recent Pittsburgh Pirates Franchise history. So what’s the latest on the draft?
Over the last month or so at Rum Bunter, we have dedicated a lot of articles and time into diving into the 2020 draft class. Obviously, the main reason is that there is no baseball so preparing for the draft is one of the best things to do. Heck, even Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington said that he and his staff have been able to do more work on the draft over the last month than they normally would have done.
The other reason is that the Pittsburgh Pirates 2020 draft might be one of the most important ones in recent franchise history. The Bucs have completely overhauled their staff from in the dugout to in the front office. Furthermore, they have three draft picks inside the top 45 selections, which should set the Pirates up for a really good haul of prospects.
Back in March, it was discussed that the 2020 MLB Draft would be adapted due to Covid-19. Sports fans saw this with the NFL and WNBA Draft over the last two weeks. Both Drafts were held virtually, and it actually went rather well. As far as the concern of drafting over the internet, it seems that has been worked out by other leagues and the MLB likely would have a strong foundation to base their draft off of.
Another major part of the draft logistics is how many rounds there will be. The MLBPA and League agreed to shorten the draft from 40 rounds to as little as five rounds. Owners are concerned about spending a normal year’s draft budget when there is no cash flow coming in. Still, the MLBPA wants as many players to be drafted and rewarded for what they have worked towards their whole lives.
However, it sounds like this is the main hangup in talks. Ken Rosenthal reported that the MLBPA rejected the latest proposal from the League. Rosenthal wrote in The Athletic what the main hold up right now is:
"The league offered to split the draft into two portions. Picks in rounds 1-5 would have slot values equivalent to the same picks in 2019. Picks in rounds 6-10 would have 50 percent of those values, and for those picks, there would be a hard cap on the signing bonus at slot value."
The Player’s Union obviously is not happy about this because they want the draftees to get compensated fairly. It is not these young player’s fault that their careers are being affected by a global pandemic. Yet, the owners do not want to put up the money which is a rather small percentage of their overall franchise values.
Unfortunately, as fans, we see this way too often. The Pittsburgh Pirates owner Bob Nutting is a primary example of one of the owners that is likely concerned about losing profits. Nutting did not want to aggressively spend money during the Bucs playoffs years, let alone when there are no games being played. Quite frankly, this is not right or fair to do to these young men who have worked towards this moment their whole lives. Hopefully, something can be agreed upon.