Some initial thoughts on the draft changes in the new CBA

Fans and reporters around baseball are still learning about the changes coming in the draft through baseball's new five-year collective bargaining agreement that was announced today.

Check out this story from Baseball America to read about many of the changes.

It appears some front office staffers in baseball are expressing some unhappiness with the effort to put a cap on total spending on draft picks in this arrangement.

Here is an excerpt from the Baseball America story:

"Under the new system, each club will get an aggregate bonus pool for the first 10 rounds of the draft, based on all of its picks - each of which will be assigned a value. While clubs will not be required to stick to the value of each pick, they will be expected to come in under the overall budget number.

"Teams that exceed the signing budget by 0-5 percent will pay a 75 percent tax on the overage. Teams that go over by 5-10 percent will pay the same tax and lose a first-round pick in the next draft. Teams that go over by 10-15 percent will pay a 100 percent tax and lose a first- and second-round pick. And finally, teams that go over by more than 15 percent will pay the 100 percent tax and lose their first-round picks in the next two drafts."

Bud Selig has said all this is being done to enhance competitive balance. But some of the losing clubs - like Pittsburgh and Kansas City, and, yes, Baltimore - might say the one area they can outspend the big boys like New York and Boston is the draft. Now, they can't.

The new deal does, finally, move up the signing date for draft picks to between July 12-18. This was an overdue move and now players like Dylan Bundy that sign at the deadline will be able to play some games later that summer. That will start their pro careers faster and lessen the time it should take them to get to the majors. This will help and was a necessary move as Aug. 15 just wasn't working.

There are other issues in the new CBA, like a limit on international spending, and some speculate that this will lead to an international draft in the coming years.

As we all digest the changes and learn more about them, feel free to leave your thoughts, comments and any questions here. I will look to write more on this in the days ahead.

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