Forget Cuba.  The entire system of non-U.S./Canadian born , er raised, er…schooled(?) prospects is a clusterf—.

For Caribbean-based players, we essentially scout them as children, for some reason setting the date for signing at 16 (which is nearly allowed among U.S./Canadian players).  It’s a free agent-based system, but the spending cap means you don’t get the ability to sign players to huge contracts for a while if you break it in one year.

But that’s just for the Caribbean (and, very occasionally, Europe).  Are you a player from Asian?  Prepare to meet the posting system, which has gone through it’s own ridiculous changes in the last few years, but isn’t subject to those limits mentioned before, but it’s a thing where the owning Japanese/Korean team gets to negotiate a posting fee with many MLB teams, but said player only gets to negotiate a contract one-on-one, freeing him of the benefits of a free agent system.

And then there’s the ridiculous rules.  Let’s look at Lucius Fox.  Fox was born in the Bahamas, but was going to high school in Florida.  That experience is what made him so  widely appreciated coming into the game.  But he switched back to the Bahamas, presumptively to avoid the very cap-driven MLB Draft, where he got big money from the Giants as an international free agent.

And all these systems have someone siphoning off the big money coming  from MLB teams presumptively to the players, but really going to Buscones, or the Japanese League teams, or someone else…and in Cuban terms, that means actual human traffickers.  That’s how it has been that a player comes from Cuba.  They get smuggled out.

Baseball needs to change this.  For Cuba, for everybody.  They need to make it fairer for MLB teams to get a good access to talent, but at the same time, they need to find a system that doesn’t do anything to discourage these people from taking advantage of young players.

But…I’m not holding my breath.