As some Dominican baseball prospects staged a protest centered around their opposition to an international draft, Major League Baseball cancelled its two-day showcase event. Quickly, MLB followed this up by informing several players on the showcase roster they needed to take drug tests, Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports.
The showcase was scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday of last week, but the protest irked MLB officials and induced the cancellation of the event a day earlier.
Interestingly, Major League Baseball didn’t tell all of the players listed on the showcase roster they needed to report immediately for tests, Badler reports. Although some of them did report soon after for the drug tests, all of the requested players did not in what looks like a curious turn of events. These players are between the ages of 15 and 16 and will be eligible to sign with teams next summer as international free agents, as no such draft exists.
Baseball does test players it deems top-end prospects from Latin America, Badler reports, before they are signed. But players who test positive for substances before they sign are not subject to suspension. Teams would know the results of players’ tests if they seek them out through the commissioner’s office.
The protest also involved talk the MLB would raise the national signing age, and several trainers had joined some of the players they were working with the prospects wouldn’t have shown up, which would have been a bad look at an MLB event.
“We do not consider this a victory. We are not against MLB in any way, shape or form,” a statement released by the independent association of trainers of Latin America read. “We appreciate everything MLB has done. This is not a fight against MLB, this is a fight against the draft.”