Major League Baseball and the Players Assocation announced yesterday a new labor agreement through 2011.
Included in the agreement are some major changes to how the amateur draft and player development will work.
Alan Schwarz of Baseball America provides an in-depth analysis of the changes. Among the provisions:
- Teams that fail to sign a first-round pick no longer receive an extra pick after the first round as compensation, but instead a virtually identical pick the following year; for example, a team that fails to sign the No. 5 pick one year will receive the No. 6 pick the next, rather than one in the 30s or 40s.
- A uniform signing date of Aug. 15 for all players (other than college seniors), replacing the deadline of the moment a player literally attends his first four-year college class. This also eliminates the junior-college, draft-and-follow rule in which players who attended two-year schools could sign with their drafting club until one week before the following draft.
- The major league portion of the Rule 5 draft will be affected by giving teams one extra year to protect players from it. Rather than teams being allowed three years (for players signed at age 19 or older) or four years (for players 18 and younger) before leaving them off the 40-man roster subjects them to the Rule 5 draft, those periods have been lengthened to four and five.
Read the Baseball America article for details.