Blue Jays have to advocate for still having a MLB draft this year
While the MLB debates whether to hold the June draft this year, the Blue Jays should be among the teams ready to lead the charge, advocating it must go ahead.
There are going to be a lot of trickle-down effects when it comes to the fact that we’ve arrived at Opening Day without baseball. We’re in pretty unchartered territory, as the suspension of play isn’t due to a contract dispute between MLB owners and the Player’s Association, but rather a health crisis that no one has any control over.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the MLB office is seeking to find creative solutions to the problem at hand. And with baseball losing millions, even potentially billions of dollars because of the delayed start to the season (assuming we have one at all), there are already discussions going on about how teams can save some money, and the Blue Jays should be adamantly against one of the ideas floating around right now.
It’s far from being an actual proposal at this point, but there has been talk the baseball may have to address their amateur draft that’s slated for June of this year. Without baseball being played it certainly complicates the world of scouting, but more importantly, there are estimates that the league could collectively save as much as 400 million by skipping the draft this year. That’s a fine money-saving plan alright, but it’s a very complicated situation.
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The most significant impact will be on the potential draft picks themselves, and I feel it’s important to point that out even if that’s not the focus of what I’m talking about here. But for the Blue Jays, a cancelled draft would mean missing out on a big opportunity to improve their roster in the short and long term. That’s because they’re supposed to have the #5 pick in this year’s draft after going 67-95 last season, and that’s a big opportunity.
Sure, not every first round pick turns into a star, but when you’re picking from the top five, you’ve got a much better chance to finding a piece that could turn into a star. And when you divide that 400 million among the 30 teams across the league, we’re talking about a savings of roughly 13 million dollars. Is it fair that the Blue Jays should have to give up a top five pick in order to save less than they’ll spend on Troy Tulowitzki‘s salary this year?
There are other potential solutions being banded about as well, such as a shortened draft, or perhaps even pushing it back to later this year. To me, either of those solutions would be far better than cancelling the draft outright. I understand the need to save money when it’s not being made, but that’s not a fair solution for the young men about to enter the draft, or for the teams who stand to benefit from it.
We’ll see what comes over the next few weeks, but if the momentum toward a cancelled draft actually starts building some momentum, I would hope the Blue Jays would help lead the charge against the idea. Unfortunately, they’d stand to lose a pretty significant opportunity.