Peter Gammons had some interesting information on the future of the MLB draft today, saying that MLB officials and NCAA coaches met on Monday and came to a general agreement to move the draft date to July 1st.
NCAA Coaches and MLB officials met Monday, general agreement on a July 1 draft and July 15 signing deadline
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) January 21, 2015
The move would be aimed at putting the draft after the College World Series, which has a few advantages. From the college side of things, they wouldn’t have to worry about their players getting drafted and potentially missing the playoffs. From the pro side of things, there would be no risk in drafting a player then watching him play for another team for a few weeks if he doesn’t sign early. This is a big concern with pitchers, as college coaches tend to overwork pitchers in the playoffs, with no regard for their future.
None of this sounds immediate. JJ Cooper and Jim Callis both indicated that this probably won’t be happening any time soon.
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) January 21, 2015
One thing to remember about moving @MLBDraft is can't be done without MLBPA approval. So probably part of next CBA talks at earliest.
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) January 21, 2015
The latter tweet indicates that we probably wouldn’t see this move until after the 2016 season. The MLBPA would want something in return for changing the CBA. It’s kind of strange that this is even in the CBA, since players who are drafted aren’t even members of the MLBPA. But that hasn’t prevented the two sides from negotiating over draft and international changes before.
The July 1st date is interesting, as it falls one day before the international signing period begins. You’d wonder if MLB would try and combine the two events, while finally making an international draft that has been rumored as a possibility for a few years.
As for the signing deadline, a July 15th deadline wouldn’t give much time to sign players. Then again, you don’t really need a lot of time to sign players with the new draft rules. Last year the Pirates signed all but two of their picks in the first nine days after the draft. Jerrick Suiter signed a week after that time period, with the delay due to playing in the College World Series. Gage Hinsz signed near the deadline after holding out for an above-slot bonus. Neither situation would be an issue by mid-July.
Right now this is an interesting subject, but it all seems early, and the details largely seem unknown (probably because it is early).