WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred looks on during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Nationals Park on July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

An ESPN report states MLB’s next collective bargaining agreement would allow teams to trade draft picks while protecting their farm systems.

The current CBA between Major League Baseball and the players expires in December and negotiations are expected to be contentious. However, one key development means baseball may finally evolve along with the rest of the major sports.

According to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, as part of a sort of roundtable piece, teams may soon be able to trade draft picks:

On the simple end of things, changing Super Two arbitration and ending service-time manipulation will change when you see young potential stars on the field (hopefully sooner) and how good your team will be. One step deeper than that, the expected addition of trading draft picks, the addition of an international draft and the trading of picks in that new draft could completely change team-building strategies for years to come while solving some of the competitive-balance issues that have plagued the sport.

This is, in a word, a gamechanger. Think of the last few MLB trade deadlines. More and more teams are demanding top prospects in deals since the strength of a squad’s minor league system provides an idea of the big league club’s future. Adding that one key piece to a World Series run (Looking at you, 2016 Chicago Cubs) could mean mortgaging the team’s future as a whole.

But now that trading draft picks will be allowed, teams can breathe easier. No more will there be a Sophie’s Choice of either pulling the trigger on a big trade or hoping star prospects rise through the ranks to become MLB stars.

An MLB where teams need not worry about gutting their farm systems for what might mean a championship run? Free exchange of draft picks? A sport evolving to where an actual competitive balance exists?

Sign this baseball fun up now, please!

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.