Talk about timely -- on the weekend after Larry offered some idea on how the new collective bargaining agreement would affect the White Sox's scouting department, Doug Laumann addressed it himself on the radio.
The White Sox's director of amateur scouting talked to South Side Sox sparring partner Chris Rongey on White Sox Weekly, and he basically affirmed our initial impressions of the new deal: It's quite beneficial for the ol' Pale Hose.
Laumann "is real pleased with what they've done," which he said was "leveling the playing field." He used that phrase about a half-dozen times, and it must seem "level" to a team like the White Sox, since it brings other teams towards their level of investment and interest in the amateur markets. He was very optimistic about what the system looks like on paper, and you can hear his enthusiasm starting at 29:45:
And if you don't care to listen to it, well, bullet points!
*Laumann said the financial penalty for going over slot payments wasn't enough, but the added teeth of losing a draft pick or picks the next year will really give the aggressive teams pause. "It makes it a really fair and really equitable system."
*When Rongey asked Laumann on how much it hurts a team like the Pittsburgh Pirates, these two quotes kinda made me laugh.
- "I've never been in a position where we've been able to just throw the type of money around that they're throwing."
- "I don't know that what they were doing was fair to the extent that they were -- in a lot of people in the industry's opinion -- overpaying for players just for the sake of getting them."
He came to the conclusion, "Yeah, maybe it does hurt them, but at the same time, I think it helps the other 80 percent of the teams that haven't taken that view."
*Laumann quite likes the idea of money being taken out of the equation (or significantly reduced), and making it about "scouting staff versus scouting staff," and being able to see whose scouts do the better job.
*As always with Latin America, the White Sox have "stepped up their operations over there a little bit, recently." That's an evergreen sentence if there ever was one.
*The international spending cap will hurt a team like Texas, that goes nuts with signing in Latin America, but Laumann said it will benefit the organization that will "go ahead and make the commitment to scouting over there, and not just throwing money at a problem and hoping that's what's gonna cover it up."
*The spending cap will diminish the influence of the buscones, who tend to only showcase top talent to teams with the reputation of opening their wallets. So Laumann likes the idea of a registration and combine-type system that allows all teams to get a look at all players.
*There's nothing wrong with the White Sox's Dominican academy's setup, as Laumann says it's on par with the other organizations in the area, and centrally located. It just comes down to money invested in talent.
The discussion hits on areas where the White Sox have traditionally been at a disadvantage, but it's mostly been of their own doing. A lot of what Laumann says downplays that part, but, as the director of amateur scouting for a team that doesn't place a high value on amateurs, I imagine his reality must be more narrowly defined than most.