MLBPA and MLBPA agree to negotiate international amateur draft during lockout talks

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball's locked-out players reached an agreement Thursday to discuss an international amateur draft. This opens the door to renewed economic talks.

The sides reached an agreement on the 99th day in a lockout that had delayed the season. They agreed to a July 25, deadline to create an international draft that would begin in 2024.

Talks to end the lockout stalled on Wednesday's draft issue, with Rob Manfred as the commissioner of baseball canceled 93 more gamesThis brings the total up to 184. He announced that Opening Day, originally scheduled to take place on March 31, will now take place no later than April 14.

The sides narrowed economic differences to a very small extent, and MLB refused to oppose the union's new overall proposal due to the international draft obstacle.

The agreement reached Thursday stipulates that if there is no draft agreement by July 25, compensation for amateur draft picks would be waived and free agents would start with the 2022-23 offseason.

If there is no agreement between the sides by July 25, compensation for amateur-draft picks would be in effect.

“The PA awaits a response from the league to its global propositions made at 1 p.m. yesterday,” said the union in a statement.

Manfred didn't use the term “canceled” to describe games that were omitted from the calendar. However, 162 games could not be played because of baseball's ninth and final work stoppage.

“We had been talking the last few days about taking those two series and finding ways to get them back on the schedule,” Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall said. “These four series are out, from what I can tell.”

MLB proposed an international draft in which teams would pick from different quadrants of each round over a four year period. The slotting system will be similar to that which the union established in 2012 for the amateur draft. It would cover residents of Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S.

The draft proposal international includes hard slots that can't be negotiated by individual. MLB estimates that $17 million will be spent on drafted international players in addition to $166.3 million spent in 2021 by the 30 teams. The draft would begin in 2024.

International players would lose the ability to choose which team they join. The year a player turns 16 would be the age of the draft.

“The narrative being promoted also ignores many historical facts, including corruption by clubs,” Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor tweeted. “This is a bigger issue than Latin players or amateurs. It affects all players and the future of the game.

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