“There were a lot of meetings and they heard us,” Cruz, 42, who is from the Dominican Republic, said of the union. “Lots of Latin players participated.”
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The MLB has said it wants to reform the international free agent system, where children under 16 can sign with teams, due to concerns about corruption, performance-enhancing drug use and verbal agreements with children younger than what is permitted, particularly in the Dominican Republic. The Caribbean island has produced more baseball players than any country outside the United States
But the union, whose previous proposals to amend the current international entry system have been rejected by the MLB, has cited the front offices of teams and scouts as the culprits. After concluding the new business deal in March, union chief executive and former player Tony Clark described the challenges of the current system as “largely related to those that cut the checks”.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred responded last month, telling reporters, “Our efforts to curb corruption in the Dominicans are ongoing and ongoing. It’s easy to say that it’s the people who cut the check, that they’re involved in the corruption. But, you know, somebody takes the check, right? ?”
The MLB proposed a draft of 20 rounds for international amateurs starting in 2024 that would include $181 million in spending for the top 600 picks, strict rules on bonuses assigned to each pick and a maximum of $20,000 for signing unregistered free agents. The league responded last week with a 20-round draft that included $260 million in spending on top 600 picks, looser rules on assigned bonuses, a $40,000 limit on signing unwritten free agents, and a series of measures it felt could improve players. development and education.
(After an amateur player signs with a team, the association does not represent them until they are on a list of 40 players in the Major League.)