Today was the deadline for clubs to announce which players they would make available for the re-entry draft process. In the case of Toronto FC the list was very short due to the fact that after outright waiving 7 players last week, the club has almost no one who was even eligible for this draft and of the ones that were, most are players the club intends to excercise options on and keep around for next season. In the end the only player on TFC's submitted list is Danleigh Borman after the club declined to pick up his option.
The other two Canadian teams had a few more names on the list as Montreal declined options on veterans Ryan Pore and Greg Sutton while the Whitecaps made Joe Cannon, Greg Janicki, Jonathan Leathers, Jay Nolly, John Thorrington, and Peter Vagenas available for the draft. The clubs may still pick up the players option or sign them to a new contract in the next week before the draft but unless something changes the Caps might just risk losing both of their keepers in this draft.
With only Borman being on the list from TFC there is not much to talk about in that regard so instead I will take some time to explain the basics of the Re-entry draft. Often times the fact that MLS basically has 4 different drafts each season can become confusing for fans who have not taken the time to try and figure out the finer points of the league. We have already seen the expansion draft take place where the Impact selected 10 players as well as the Waiver Draft where only one player was taken and that was Nizar Khalfan who was picked up from the Vancouver Whitecaps by the Philadelphia Union. Now we are on to our third draft, the Re-Entry draft, and we still have the super draft to look forward to!So just what is this re-entry draft and what can we look forward to happening as Toronto FC fans? Well I will now try and lay out the basics.
The first thing about this draft is that it takes place in 2 rounds with each team selecting once in each round. The players that are made available are veteran players whose clubs have chosen not to exercise options on them, and rather then being waived go through this draft, giving teams the chance to pick them up at several different rates. The draft takes place in two distinct stages so a club may pass on their pick in the first stage but still have the ability to select a player from the available pool in the second stage. That is significant since in many MLS events once you have passed on a pick you lose all your subsequent selections.
So what happens if you select a player in the first round? The first round of the draft will take place on Monday December 5th and will have 19 selections. Any clubs that select a player in this round will have to either pick up that players existing option or extend them what's called a bona fide offer. That means that you do not get the chance to pick up these players at a lower price then they were set to make in the 2012 season. The player will then remain at that contract level until April 1, 2012 at which time the player and club would then have the option of negotiating either a longer contract or one at a different rate. If you do select a player in this first round and choose to extend a bona fide offer, that offer can be retracted on December 11th. You may not select your own player in this first round but if they pass through the round unselected you will have the chance to extend them a new offer.
In the second round you may select your own player, but only after all other clubs have passed on them, and each team again has the chance to select one player. This round will take place on Monday December 12th and this time if you pick up a player you do not have to exercise their existing option. Instead the club that selects any player is given negotiating rights to that player and then have seven days to make a genuine offer to that player. If a contract can not be reached the club continues to hold the MLS rights to that player.
Any player that is not selected then becomes available on a first come first served basis. So the simple version of what is going to take place is that in Round 1 you can pick up a player and their existing option rate and then in round 2 you can pick a player to give yourself a period of exclusive negotiation rights to that player. The MLS rules really do make it come across as a lot more complicated then it actually is.
As for the full list of players it is available on the MLS site here. And the draft order will be:
2 New England
4 Chivas USA
5 San Jose
6 DC United
11 New York
15 Kansas City
16 Salt Lake
18 Los Angeles
So take a moment and pretend you are a part of the brain trust at TFC. Anyone on that list you might take a shot at in either round? I have my own two cents but want to hear from you folks a bit first.