Join the conversation:

MLB: the Future of Latin American Peloteros Is in Jeopardy

MLB: the Future of Latin American Peloteros Is in Jeopardy

Posted by PanamericanWorld on November 01, 2016

Major League Baseball’s a business, which means team owners are always going to be watching out for their bottom line. That’s just the name of the game in our economic system, and it’s why baseball’s rank-and-file – that is, the athletes who put millions of dollars into ownership’s pockets – formed the Major League Baseball Players Association back in 1966. But the push-and-pull between profit margins and players’ best interest continues to this day, and now its the MLB’s foreign-born prospects (read: Dominicans, Venezuelans) who are pushing back against questionable decisions from up top.

The latest controversy involves the MLB’s announcement that they would be phasing in a two-day, 10-round international draft and shaking up the league’s overseas recruitment system. At present, the league’s Latin American talent is recruited through an informal network of trainers – also called “buscones” – who scope local communities for young talent and cultivate standout athletes. Along the way, trainers cover vital living expenses for their players and even offer cash incentives to families that can total several thousand dollars.

It’s a system that developed in response to the region’s lack of sports infrastructure and the dire economic needs of many of these prospects, but the system has also been ripe for abuse and corruption. Over the years, buscones have caught a reputation for shady ethical practices, from human smuggling to demanding finders fees that are otherwise prohibited by league rules. Under this pretext, the MLB has decided to take international talent development entirely under their purview by opening league-operated academies in the Dominican Republic from which teams could pull promising young prospects.

 Pamela Reynoso

Photo: Pamela Reynoso

Critics have pointed out that the MLB simply does not have the local knowledge to cull talent from Latin America’s ad hoc baseball infrastructure, and the training academies would disincentivize poor prospects deciding between pursuing their baseball dreams and putting food on the family table. The abuses that characterize the current system, they claim, could be solved without imposing a draft, and they’ve been quick to point outthat this new system would incidentally save ownership millions in yearly signing bonuses.

Link To Full Article: 

Facebook comments



Monthly newsletter featuring articles hand picked by our country managers from the best content across PanamericanWorld.



Monthly newsletter featuring articles hand picked by our country managers from the best content across the Caribbean Region on PanamericanWorld.

PANAMERICANWORLD COUNTRIES