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As the news of Bryce Harper's midnight signing trickled out last night, I had just one thought: why does baseball do draft signings this way? Why did the two sides haggle all the way up to the deadline when neither had much leverage? Why not make it more like the NBA, where rookies are tightly slotted based on their draft position?
Apparently, I'm not alone. Yesterday, Dave Nichols of Nationals News Network railed against the system, and birthday boy Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post (happy birthday!) hopped on Twitter around midnight to say "This is stupid." Then, after giving GM Mike Rizzo a whipped cream pie in the face, Nationals president Stan Kasten had this to say about the whole thing (via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post).
"I'm confident it will only be in place one more year," Kasten said. "Because it is just silly, to think the industry operates this way. There's no reason for it. And the worst part? The worst part is we've now institutionalized taking young talent at their prime development age, and now we say, 'Go sit on the shelf for this season.' That's the worst thing of all. It doesn't help the talent. It doesn't help the teams. If nothing else, that law needs to be fixed."
Just imagine if all of us had to go through this with John Wall. Nothing against Harper, but Wall is clearly a bigger deal locally, if only because he's going to be here right away. If the NBA had baseball's silly system, everyone would have been forced to stay up until the wee hours of the morning as fans freaked out about the prospect of Wall going back in the 2011 Draft. Instead, they have a sensible system that slots rookies in. Baseball should really think about that in light of the madness it's produced on deadline in each of the last two years.
Today's must-reads from around the SB Nation network:
- Speaking of Wall, Bullets Forever argues that he might not do very much scoring next season, though he'll still be outstanding.
- Testudo Times has everything you need to know about the Maryland football team scrimmage yesterday.
- Federal Baseball has more Harper information here.