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Changing the Draft Rules


Mainieri hates the MLB draft

"I'm going to spend the next year talking to my friends in Major League baseball about moving the deadline back," Mainieri said. "It should be about July 15. The clubs still have a deadline but it leaves the colleges enough time to scramble and find other players to fill the gaps."

Good luck with that, Coach.  MLB doesn't give a damn about college baseball.  To be fair, MLB does not exploit college sports to the same degree as the NFL or the NBA, primarily because it has its own minor league development system.  But MLB doesn't need college baseball at all, so Mainieri's got an uphill climb here.

However, there are some grumblings that the new August 15th deadline helps players.  And let's face it, MLB does not want a system that helps players, particularly at the owner's expense.  These are brand new draft rules, so let's take a quick second to review the old rules.  Under the old system, a team owned the rights to a player for a full year after selecting him, but lost rights to the player if he enrolled at a four year college.  So, the new August 15th deadline really didn't change a whole lot, from a college perspective.

Well, except under the old rules, Colvin would be a Tiger by virtue of enrolling in classes.  So, oddly enough, while the new draft rules impose a shorter period for MLB teams to sign a player, it actually EXTENDS the period from a college's perspective.  The new rules do screw over college coaches, and the owners would never change the rules to help out the NCAA except for the fact it hasn't helped them either.

I expect if MLB changes the draft rules, it will only be to their own benefit.  But Mainieri and the college coaches can give them PR cover.  No one's ever accused the lords of baseball for being shrewd masters of public opinion, but this is a chance to stand up and say they are doing something good for their brethren in college, while really trying to screw over the Players Union. 

So go make some calls, Coach.  It might just work.