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SBJ/20100830/Labor & Agents
Union wants change in rules on physicals
Published August 30, 2010
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association expect to begin talks soon on how to solve the problem of players losing their college eligibility when they agree to a club contract and then fail the club’s physical exam.
Barret Loux, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ first-round pick this year, agreed to a contract but then failed the physical. Loux is now a free agent represented by SFX Baseball, but he cannot return to college because of NCAA rules.
Agents say the problem has occurred before and gives clubs leverage in signing such players at discount prices.
“The issue … has been out there for at least a few years,” said MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner. “I would expect the union and the commissioner’s office in relatively short order to begin discussions to see if we can come up with a more workable set of rules in this area.” Weiner declined further comment on the subject.
Rob Manfred, MLB executive vice president of labor relations, said, “From our perspective, we are happy to have conversations with the MLBPA” on the issue.
Manfred said it would be beneficial to the clubs to have medical information on prospective draft picks before they are selected in the draft. “If we have medical information before the draft, the chances of having this eligibility problem dramatically decrease,” he said.