MLB’s 2021-22 international signing period opens today, making it possible for teams to consummate deals with international fans from countries outside of the United States and Canada.
Some deals have been in place for years, but today is the day players can finally sign on the dotted line. Not all of the players will sign today, but many of the player deals should come to light. Baseball America’s Ben Badler has compiled the list of international free agent signings for each team so far, with more expected to arrive later in the day.
Let’s update the basics of the international signing period. Although the signing period traditionally opened on July 2, the pandemic delayed the opening of the 2020-2021 signing period. This is the second consecutive season that international transfers open on January 15. Teams have an 11-month window to sign international fans, with this year’s signing period scheduled to close on December 15, 2022.
Prospects age 16 and older, born after September 1, 2005, are eligible to sign minor league contracts with teams for signing bonuses that are within the limitations of a league-allocated bonus pool. MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk recently posted each team’s funding allocation, and the smaller market clubs typically have the largest funds available. This year, the Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Guardians, Orioles, Padres, Pirates, Rockies and Royals each have $6,262,600 to spend.
Jesse Sanchez tracks this signing period annually for MLB.com, providing a list of some of the best players available today. The Yankees are expected to sign the best Roderick Arias, the top prospect in this year’s class, according to Sanchez.