The International Signing Period

Here's some detail on the international signing period, which begins today:

  • Players born outside of the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico aren't eligible to be drafted; they're signed as free agents instead.
  • The signing period begins July 2nd.
  • The youngest eligible players for this year were born in late August and early September, 1994.
  • This year's international free agents must turn 17 by September 1st 2011, or the end of their first pro season, whichever is later.
  • Players don't make their pro debut until the calendar year after they're first eligible to be signed. 
  • They can sign with any major league team.
  • Players can sign after August 31st if they don't do so immediately.
  • A number of players older than 16 will sign as well. 
  • Check out this article by Baseball America's Ben Badler to see how the Reds signed Juan Duran before anyone – even his own agent - thought he was eligible.

Michael Ynoa set a record in 2008 when he signed for a $4.25MM bonus. Miguel Sano was the most-hyped prospect of 2009, but there has not been similar buzz surrounding any of this year's prospects. 

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts, Kiley McDaniel and Ben Badler. This post was first published on June 17th, 2009.


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