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Tatis: International draft 'is going to kill baseball in the Dominican Republic'

Nuccio DiNuzzo / Getty Images Sport / Getty

San Diego Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is opposed to the idea of an international draft, believing it will be detrimental to baseball's development in his home country.

"The (international) draft is going to kill baseball in the Dominican Republic," Tatis said, according to a Google translation of an ESPN Deportes story.

"It's going to kill what baseball is in the Caribbean. It is going to affect us a lot because there will be many young people who used to give them the opportunity to get a bonus, and with the draft, it will not be the same."

Major League Baseball and the players' union are currently discussing the potential of an international draft as part of a new collective bargaining agreement.

MLB believes an international draft might help improve the way in which teams acquire players like Tatis from outside the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The current system is riddled with corruption and other issues, such as the exploitation of players as young as 12 years old who verbally agree to deals before they are eligible to sign at age 16.

Tatis believes an international draft won't fix these issues. Instead, it will take opportunities away from thousand of prospects, as well as the coaches who help them prepare for the majors.

The Padres infielder used Puerto Rico as an example of how changes to the international system can affect the number of players signing from a certain region. There has been a lower percentage of Puerto Rican players earning major-league contracts since they were included in the same draft as the United States and Canada.

"Right there, there will be a tremendous reduction of those players who expect a good bonus," he said. "I make it very clear: I think that this is going to end a lot with what is the signing of players here in the Dominican Republic and in the Caribbean."

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