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Major League Baseball pushes for international draft, while players' union opposes it, sources say

Negotiations between Major League Baseball and the MLBPA centered around the potential for an international draft, sources close to ownership told ESPN on Wednesday.

The union is not in favor of it, according to those sources, while the league would like to institute it. The league believes the issue is tied to the elimination of draft-pick compensation for free agents who leave their old teams.

Without the draft, the league won't eliminate the compensation a team has to give up when signing a free agent. The rule hurts the market for players who have turned down qualifying offers.

From the MLB offices in New York, a league official told ESPN Wednesday that the negotiations are at "a major structural roadblock" because of the international draft. MLB says that it has included the draft in every proposal since July 2021, while the union says it has rejected the draft offer every single time.

The league is offering the union alternatives: Finish the parameters on the rest of the collective bargaining agreement and sign it while examining the pros and cons of the international draft for two years. If by 2024, the union still doesn't want to implement the draft, then the league has the right to reopen the CBA.

Another option would be to agree to a deal without the draft and without eliminating draft-pick compensation.

The third option is to complete the original trade: Institute an international draft and in return the league will eliminate draft-pick compensation.

ESPN's Joon Lee contributed to this report.