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