MLB’s 2021-22 International signing period opens today, making it possible for teams to consummate deals with international amateurs from countries outside of the United States and Canada.
Some agreements have been in place for years, but today is the day that players can finally sign on the dotted line. Not all players will actually sign today, but many of the player agreements should come to light. Baseball America’s Ben Badler has put together the list of international free agent signings for every team thus far, with more expected to pour in throughout the day.
Let’s refresh the international signing period basics. Though the signing period has traditionally opened on July 2, the pandemic delayed the opening of the 2020-2021 signing period. This is the second consecutive season that international signings have opened on January 15th instead. Teams have an 11-month window to sign international amateurs, with this year’s signing period set to close on December 15, 2022.
Prospects aged 16 and up – born after Sept. 1, 2005 – are eligible to sign minor league contracts with teams for signing bonuses that fall within the constraints of a league-allotted bonus pool. MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk recently posted each team’s pool allotment, with smaller market clubs typically having the largest available pools. This year, the Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Guardians, Orioles, Padres, Pirates, Rockies, and Royals each with $6,262,600 to spend.
Jesse Sanchez annually tracks this signing period for MLB.com, providing a list of some of today’s top available players. The Yankees are expected to sign top Roderick Arias, the top prospect in this year’s class, per Sanchez.
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