New Commissioner Rob Manfred open to changing baseball draft
SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) Moments before his first draft as baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred indicated he's ready to make a few changes.
Manfred, who took over when Bud Selig retired in January, said Monday night the amateur draft is an event baseball will ''continue to grow in the coming years.''
''We have certain logistical limitations, the most important of which is, a lot of the college players are still playing and it's difficult to have them here. This event like every event is about the players,'' Manfred said at MLB Network studios. ''I think that we're going to try to have some conversations with the NCAA about a little better coordination of calendars in the hope that we can make the event even better going forward.''
Manfred said MLB might be open to holding the draft during a different week - or even at a new venue.
''I think the opportunity for our fans to see young men who are being drafted, the excitement that it generates for those young people makes for great television. It's something we need to strive to have more of,'' he said.
''I don't think you're talking about huge shifts in terms of the calendar. Obviously, we have needs in terms of getting players signed and get them out there and playing, and obviously the College World Series is a very, very important event. But you know, I think with some minor adjustments we might be able to make a calendar that would be better for both of us.''
In an interview on MLB Network, Manfred also said he'd like to see the draft include international players.
''I've long been a believer that it makes sense for everybody to enter the game through the same mechanism,'' he explained. ''I think there's a fundamental fairness to have everybody enter the game through the same system.''