If the International Draft remains a “non-starter” for the MLBPA, you can likely count the New York Yankees organization among those who are extremely thankful.
If not for the way the current international market is structured — for all its … many many many faults — the Yankees’ farm system wouldn’t be nearly what it is today, especially considering all the team’s draft-related foibles since … um, Derek Jeter in 1992.
Though New York has always done a great job accruing depth and high-upside plays at the international level, in recent years they’ve gone above and beyond, scouting and acquiring the No. 1 consensus player in the classes of 2019 and 2021-22 in Jasson Dominguez and SS Roderick Arias.
And now, as the International Draft remains the No. 1 holdup in MLB and MLBPA’s ongoing CBA talks, the Yankees are out here flaunting their ability to thrive in the current system and flexing their muscles.
If a draft is installed in 2024 (it probably won’t be, but still), the Yankees have made sure they’re able to take advantage of the final class before stipulations are introduced.
While the two parties are at their own respective bargaining tables, Gary Sánchez and the consensus top 2023 player, Brandon Mayea, are working out together in Florida. Mayea and the Yankees reportedly have an unofficial deal in place … yet again.
Yankees flaunting Brandon Mayea ahead of International Draft?
Mayea, initially expected to sign in the summer of 2022, has now seen his date pushed back a half-year thanks to a COVID-related shuffling of all international endeavors.
Of course … it’s hard to care what his official signing date is when he’s hanging out with Gary Sánchez in the Florida sun on a Wednesday. You can push that “official” signing date out all the way ’til 2026, if you want, as long as he’s starting for the Yankees on Opening Day.
Perhaps, eventually, the league and the players will see the error of their ways, realize there is abusive behavior inherent in the current outdated system, but that a draft isn’t the ingenious solution needed, either. Maybe they’ll lock themselves in a room and shake hands, agreeing to invoke real change on the international market, placing meetings on each others’ calendars to make sure they do this right. Or maybe the two sides shake out an acceptable draft system and the baseball world changes forever in 2024?
In the meantime, the Yankees will simply send their All-Stars down to mentor players they haven’t officially signed yet, and those players will again be the No. 1 talent in their class. Ahead of the curve for now.