As experts on the rules and inner workings of MLS, we should already be intimately familiar with all the details surrounding the upcoming two-part 2014 MLS Re-Entry draft, in which teams from MLS can select players who are out-of-contract or recently had their options declined. But if you're not familiar, we won't ask you to make yourself known for mockery, instead we ask that you read a little further in order to understand the majesty that is inherent in MLS player acquisition.
Q. When is the Re-Entry Draft?
A. The draft will take place via conference call in two parts, the first being on December 12, 2014 at 3pm EST, the second being December 18, 2014 at 3pm EST.
Q. Who is eligible for the re-entry draft?
A. As stated above, players who are out-of-contract or recently had their options declined are available for the Re-Entry draft, so long as they qualify.
Q. What are the qualifications a player needs?
A. The qualifications are dependent upon service time, based on a player's age:
- Players who are at least 23 years old and have a minimum of three years experience in MLS whose options were not exercised by their clubs (available at option salary for 2014).
- Players who are at least 25 years old with a minimum of four years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them at their previous salary (available for at least their 2013 salary).
- Players who are at least 30 years old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience who are out of contract and whose club does not wish to re-sign them (available for at least 105% of their 2013 salary)
Q. So Sean Okoli, who's under 23 years old and only has one year of MLS experience doesn't qualify after having his option declined, but Tristan Bowen, who is 23 and six years MLS experience does?
A. That is correct.
Q. What about Eriq Zavaleta?
A. He's only 22 years old and has just two years of MLS experience, so he won't qualify for the draft either.
Q. Then which Seattle Sounders players qualify?
A. Tristan Bowen, Josh Ford, and Marcus Hahnemann. Jalil Anibaba would have qualified had he not been selected by Orlando City SC in the Expansion Draft.
Q. Does this mean we no longer have the rights to these players?
A. As of now we still have their rights and can technically sign them before the draft, but that would have to be at the current option price. If the players clear all of the other teams in RED2, we can pick them there and sign them at a reduced salary. If we don't do that, or if another team selects them, we no longer have their rights.
Q. What about the Chivas USA players who weren't taken in the Dispersal Draft or the MLS Waiver Draft? Are they eligible?
A. It's hard to find an exact ruling on this, but here's what MLS had to say on the matter: "Players unselected during the Dispersal Draft will take part in the Re-Entry Draft, if eligible, or will be made available via the Waiver Draft on Dec. 10." Though with players who were on multiple year contracts, that's where some further understanding would be nice. Unfortunately, we don't have the answer to that right now.
Q. So what happens in the first stage of the Re-Entry draft on December 12th?
A. If a club selects a player in the first stage, that club must exercise the option of the player if their original team declined their option. However, if they were an out-of-contract player, the selecting team must offer a Bona Fide Offer to the player, which usually means a minimum of 5% increase over the player's previous season's salary.
Q. What happens if the out-of-contract player and the team which selects him can't reach an agreement?
A. If the player rejects the offer, the selecting team will hold the players rights, essentially giving them rights of first refusal.
Q. Are players who aren't selected in the first stage of the MLS Re-Entry Draft eligible to re-sign with their team before the second stage?
though it must still be a Bona Fide Offer or at their 2015 option price and it would seem the offer is not restricted to being a Bona-Fide offer or the player's 2015 option price.
Q. So then what's the difference between the first stage of the MLS Re-Entry Draft and the second stage on December 18th?
A. The major difference is that players whose options were declined do not have their options automatically activated if they are drafted, instead, just like with out-of-contract players, the selecting team is required to make a genuine offer to the player within seven days.
Q. What happens if a contract isn't agreed upon during those seven days?
A. Negotiations can last longer than seven days, so long as the offer was placed within that first week. However, if a contract is not agreed upon between the player and the selecting team, again the selecting team will own the player's MLS rights and have rights of first refusal.
Q. Can a team select their own player?
A. Yes. If a club selects their player in RED1, then they exercise their 2015 option or, if the player was out of contract, have to follow the same guidelines as a player from any club. In RED2 clubs may select their own players, but only after all other clubs have declined to select those players.
Q. Well what happens if a player isn't selected during either stage of the draft?
A. If a player is not selected during either stage of the MLS Re-Entry draft, that player will essentially become a free agent, where no team owns his rights.
Q. Did the Sounders draft anybody last year?
A. Yes, actually. The Sounders passed in RED1, but in RED2 they selected Chad Barrett with the 5th overall pick, though it was in draft slot 13 after eight teams passed. In 2013 only five players were taken in RED1, while RED2 saw eight players taken.
Q. So how does the draft work exactly?
A. The teams are organized in reverse finish from the previous season, the same as allocation order, so Montreal Impact will go first with Orlando City SC choosing last.
Here is the order:
4. Chicago Fire
6. Toronto FC
11. Columbus Crew
12. FC Dallas
13. Real Salt Lake
14. D.C. United
16. Seattle Sounders
18. LA Galaxy
19. New York City FC
20. Orlando City SC
Each team can choose to either select a player or pass. Once a team has passed, they cannot select again. However, if a team chooses a player, they are eligible to continue drafting in the second round. If only two teams select a player, those same two teams are the only two who are allowed to draft in the second round. Once all teams have passed, the draft is over.
Q. Can teams trade draft spots?
A. Yes they can.
Q. Which players are eligible?
A. * indicates a player is out-of-contract. All other players had their option declined.
|Player Name||Team||2014 Base Salary|
|Andre Akpan||New England||$48,500|
|Shalrie Joseph||New England||$248,500|
|Stephen McCarthy*||New England||$101,332|
|Bobby Convey||New York||$137,500|
|Kosuke Kimura||New York||$105,000|
|Jon Busch*||San Jose||$173,250|
|Atiba Harris||San Jose||$181,500|
|Joshua Gardner||Sporting KC||$70,000|
|Andy Gruenebaum||Sporting KC||$85,000|
|Eric Kronberg||Sporting KC||$120,000|
|Dwayne De Rosario||Toronto||$137,000|