Monday, April 12, 2010

Major League Baseball expanding operations in Latin America

Major League Baseball is making a sweeping change to its operations in Latin America. In an email sent to front office officials on Friday, baseball's Dominican Republic point man Sandy Alderson announced that the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau will expand its operations to include Latin America.

The scouting bureau is a centralized group of player evaluators -- independent of any team -- which files scouting reports on players entering the June draft. Now the bureau will also file reports and video as well as organize showcases in Latin America, where players are amateur free agents and currently not subject to the draft. The bureau reports provide another source of information for general managers, owners and other team officials to cross-reference against the scouting reports submitted by team employees.

Several Latin American scouting directors contacted by see the expansion of MLB's scouting bureau as a step toward incorporating Latin American countries into the draft. Alderson, however, told, "I wouldn't interpret this as a step towards the draft." He described the bureau's Latin American expansion as a way "to provide clubs as well as the commissioner's office with independent evaluations," and "to simply provide more information with which clubs can make informed judgments."

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