MLBPA spring training for free agents has an unexpected rule

Big League Stew

The Major League Baseball Players Association is making sure the curtains will remain closed at its free-agent training camp at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

We knew going in that the camp, which is open to every major league free agent and even some players who are seeking a return in 2018, would be closed to the public. On Monday, Union spokesman Chris Dahl confirmed that reporters and photographers were included in that provision. That certainly changed the dynamic of how the camp would be covered. Now we’ve learned the dynamic of how the camp will be scouted is dramatically different too.

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Simply put, there will be no scouting or evaluation process for the players at the camp sight. That’s because scouts and team executives have also been banned from the facility.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, at least one executive found that out the hard way on Wednesday after being escorted off the grounds.



That’s… interesting.

Maybe it’s not so much surprising considering the tension that exists between the players and owners, but it’s a weird way to go about garnering more interest in the players attending.

The private workouts were going to be part of the process anyway, but you have to imagine some teams were hoping to catch a glimpse of these players before moving to that phase.

MLBPA president Tony Clark confirmed the free agent training camp on Feb. 7. (AP)
MLBPA president Tony Clark confirmed the free agent training camp on Feb. 7. (AP)

With Scott Boras making it clear that none of his remaining unsigned clients — which include J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer and Jake Arrieta — will be attending the camp, the camp had already lost some broader appeal. Obviously, it wasn’t going to be the hot spot it could have been anyway with the Boras circus it town.

Now though, it might be a ghost town that goes largely forgotten until Boras’ clients sign or teams get desperate for reinforcements.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Yahoo Sports Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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