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MLB Reportedly Considering Skipping 2020 Draft Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

MLB

We learned a few days ago that the QMJHL draft will not be held in the Phoenix amphitheatre in Sherbrooke as originally planned and will instead be held online.

For now, there is reason to believe that the e-repechage will still be held in June and that Sherbrooke will host the draft in 2021. However, nothing has been confirmed.

A few hours later, the Associated Press reported that the MLB was considering cancelling its draft and postponing its international hiring period in order to save money. Signing bonuses given to drafted players are in the neighbourhood of $400 million annually. What about international hires? Several million dollars! The start of the season has already been delayed in major league baseball.

The players and the league are currently discussing and trying to agree on the minimum number of games to qualify for the 2020 season in whole or in part. That would make a big difference in terms of money.

The MLB would like the number to be 130 while the players would like it to be zero.

Note that some players continue to use their respective team’s facilities at this time. Some even still train together.
The 2020 draft was scheduled for June 10-12 in Nebraska, while the international hiring market was scheduled to open on July 2. We still don’t know how the first-year players would be assigned to the different major league baseball teams.

With the QMJHL having turned its draft into a virtual one and the MLB being able to simply cancel its draft, I can’t wait to see what the NHL plans to do with its amateur draft to be held in Montreal at the end of June.

But I don’t see how it could ever be held in front of a live audience. Will it be done behind closed doors? Will it be online? If so, will Montreal do the 2021 draft? We’ll see.

The NHL draft definitely doesn’t cost its teams as much as the MLB draft. So I don’t think it’s going to be cancelled. Worst case scenario, postponed and/or held in line, but not cancelled…

Nor do I believe that the US government will (or should) help professional sports organizations pay signing bonuses.

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