Bud Selig seeks changes to draft

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- If commissioner Bud Selig has his way, baseball's amateur draft will have a whole new look next year.

With the collective bargaining agreement between players and owners set to expire after this season, Selig wants to see some changes to the draft implemented in a new labor deal.

For one, he'd like a slotting system that limits bonus money for top picks -- they would be paid based on where they are selected.

Also, he wants Major League Baseball to develop an international draft.

"I believe in slotting and I believe in a worldwide draft. I think it's important," Selig said, pointing out that the draft began in 1965 as a way to improve competitive balance. "I think the draft has worked, but I think there are some things that have happened in the last five or six years that are worrisome."

The NBA currently has a rookie pay scale and NFL owners would like to implement one as well. New players entering the NHL are subject to maximum salaries.

Selig said owners and general managers have voted in favor of a slotting system. Now, it's a matter of getting players to agree.

"I think we need it," Selig said. "We have a negotiation ahead of us."

For the third straight year, Selig announced first-round picks from a podium at MLB Network studios. The draft was broadcast live and several Hall of Famers were in attendance as club representatives.

"I really do enjoy it. I always used to look forward to this when I ran the Brewers. This is an exciting night," Selig said, remembering when Milwaukee drafted Hall of Famer Robin Yount third overall in 1973. "It's fascinating to watch them develop."

Years ago, the draft was held by conference call and players sometimes waited hours -- or days -- to learn where they were headed.

"I think this has worked out great," Selig said. "We've come a long way and this is very helpful. We need to do more of this."