MLB, MLBPA appoint Committee to discuss International Player Acquisition
Press Release Major League Baseball

In accordance with the recently negotiated Basic Agreement, the Office of the Commissioner and the Major League Baseball Players Association today announced their respective appointees to the International Talent Committee responsible for discussing the development and acquisition of international players.

MLB Executive Vice President for Labor Relations and Human Resources Rob Manfred and MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner are co-chairs of the committee, and per the Basic Agreement each appoints three members to the committee.

Kim Ng of the Commissioner’s Office, Sandy Alderson of the New York Mets and Andrew Friedman of the Tampa Bay Rays will join Manfred on the committee, while Weiner will be accompanied by MLBPA Director of Player Relations Tony Clark, MLBPA Senior Advisor Rick Shapiro and MLBPA Special Assistant Stan Javier. By agreement, the Committee will hold its first meeting on or before January 15, 2012 and will meet twice a month thereafter to discuss issues related to the development and acquisition of international players, including but not limited to:

· If there is an international draft, whether international players should be part of a single worldwide draft (including players currently covered by the Rule 4 Draft) or a separate draft (or drafts).

· The appropriate age at which international amateur players should be signed to professional contracts.

· If there are to be multiple drafts, whether players from Puerto Rico should remain in the Rule 4 Draft or instead be part of an international draft.

· The development of appropriate country-by-country plans for playing and development opportunities for players prior to draft eligibility.

· The development of appropriate plans to provide undrafted or unsigned players (including players age 18 to 21) from Latin America with an opportunity to continue their development, including the creation of a new league or leagues, or the addition of centrally-operated Clubs in the Dominican Summer League (“DSL”).

· Whether and how regulations should be put in place regarding representation of international amateur players (e.g., “independent trainers” and agents).

· Improving the education and acculturation programs of Clubs at their international academies.

· What safeguards should be established in relation to any signing bonus payments made to international amateur players.

· The laws of the countries from which international players are signed and how those laws should affect the actions of the parties.

· What actions are necessary in order to achieve the negotiation of a revised agreement between MLB and the Mexican League that allows players greater choice of where to play and promotes a fair and open system of player movement.

· What actions are necessary in order to achieve the negotiation of revisions to the protocol agreements with the Korean Professional Baseball League, the Japanese Professional Baseball League, and the Taiwan R.O.C. League to accommodate a draft.

· How Cuban players should be treated under an amateur talent system in light of the legal and political factors that affect their signability.

Bios of International Talent Committee Members

Co-Chair Rob Manfred – Rob Manfred is Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Labor Relations and Human Resources. Manfred was previously a partner in the Labor and Employment Law Section of the firm Morgan, Lewis and Bockius before joining Major League Baseball in October 1998. In 1983, Manfred received his law degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an articles editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Co-Chair Michael Weiner – Michael Weiner became MLBPA executive director in 2009, and he has held the position of general counsel since 2004. Michael joined the MLBPA staff in 1988, and he graduated from Williams College in 1983, having majored in political economy, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1986.

Sandy Alderson – Sandy Alderson was appointed the General Manager of the New York Mets in October 2010. Prior to joining the Mets, Alderson served as a special consultant to Major League Baseball, focused on improving the sport’s operations in Latin America. Alderson was the GM of the Oakland Athletics from 1983-1997, MLB’s Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations from 1998-2005, and the CEO of the San Diego Padres from 2005-2009.

Tony Clark – Tony Clark joined the MLBPA staff as director of player relations in March 2010. A retired first baseman, Tony played in 1,559 games, appeared in the 2001 All-Star Game and finished his career with 1,188 hits, 251 home runs and 824 RBI. Tony became active in union affairs after attending his first Executive Board meeting in 1999. From there he became a team player representative, before spending his last seven seasons as an Association Representative, one of two players to serve in the Union's most senior player-leadership position.

Andrew Friedman – Andrew Friedman, who joined the Tampa Bay Rays front office in 2004, has served as the club’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations since November 2005. Under Friedman’s leadership, the Rays have increased their presence in Latin America; have built new facilities in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Colombia; are set to become the first team to open a facility in Brazil; and have expanded their efforts in Europe and Asia.

Stan Javier – Stan Javier, a native of the Dominican Republic, joined the MLBPA staff as a special assistant to the executive director in 2006. Stan’s Major League career spanned 17 years, and he finished his career with a .269 batting average, 503 RBI, 781 runs scored and 246 stolen bases in 1,763 games. Stan won two batting titles in the Dominican Winter League and he was named the League’s all-time center fielder for the Aguilas Cibaenas. Stan served as general manager of the Dominican Republic team in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic and he was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame in 2011.

Kim Ng – Kim Ng is Major League Baseball’s Senior Vice President for Baseball Operations, overseeing all international baseball operations. A longtime baseball executive, Ng was the Assistant General Manager of the New York Yankees (1998-2001) and the Vice President/Assistant General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers (2002-2011) prior to joining MLB in March 2011.

Rick Shapiro – Rick Shapiro joined the MLBPA as senior advisor in December 2009 and he heads the Union's efforts to support individual contract negotiations and plays a major role in other areas of Union activity. Rick has more than 20 years of experience representing professional athletes, and he has served as outside counsel to both the MLBPA and NHLPA and as an attorney for numerous players and player agents in baseball, hockey and other sports.

(From IBAF Website)