Dombrowski drafts his own plan
December, 5, 2007
Bud Selig and some of his current and former fiscal bulldogs in the commissioner's office won't like to hear this, but as the Miguel Cabrera deal was about to be formally introduced, one Tigers official said, "If we went along with the commissioner's office edict on draft signing limits, we wouldn't have Cabrera and Dontrelle [Willis]." For years, the commissioner's office has tried to hold down draft signing bonuses by leaning on teams to accept a "slotting system" that essentially rigged what teams could pay players selected at each round and number. It was artificial and subjective because it was never negotiated with the union. So, owners who owed Selig -- in some cases for awarding them franchises -- or courted favors like All-Star Games went along with the system. Teams like the Royals, Astros, Pirates and the majority of the others took players so they could look to New York and say "this signing was approved by the commissioner's office."