MLB international signing period: Top players, including ‘Cuban Ohtani’ and everything else to know

Saturday, January 15, It’s an important day in the MLB’s off-season schedule. It is the beginning of the international signing period 2022, either way MLB . Teams can gain amateur talent every year. The draft includes players born in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. All others fall into international freedom agency.

About 30% current MLB original players contracted as international free agents, including superstars like Ronald Acuña Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., and Juan Soto. Longtime candidates like Dodgers and Yankees, teams that often pick late in the draft, use international freelance agency to add elite leads to their farm system.

All-Stars will be signed when the international free agency opens on Saturday. Maybe even Cy Young winning or an MVP. Maybe even a Hall of Famer. Here’s everything you need to know at the start of the 2022 international signing period.

Current format

The international signing period normally lasts from 2 July to 15 June, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, MLB and MLBPA have agreed to delay the start of the last two signing periods to 15 May. 1. Technically, this is 2021-22. contract signing period, and players who signed on Saturday will sign on 2 July last year in a normal year. The signing period will end on December 15.

This will probably be the last international free agent class ever. The MLB has been pushing for an international draft for decades and may take one as part of an upcoming collective bargaining agreement. The MLBPA has resisted the international draft up to this point, but with some further negotiation, the federation could agree to the international draft to get concessions for the major league players.

MLB randomly does nothing, and moving the last two signings into a calendar year would allow the league to easily transition to an out-of-season international draft. That way, the players sign for next season – when they sign on July 2, they usually sign contracts starting the following year – and the budget doesn’t span many years. It makes everything nice and tidy.

Bonus group

The international bounty pool, the amount that teams can spend on players, is set by market size, with small market teams receiving the most and large market teams receiving the least. There are bonus pool penalties for signing a qualified free agent, and teams that receive a competitive balanced lottery draft selection (i.e. small market pools) will receive a small amount of money. bonus increased.

Here is the bonus amount for the international signing period 2022, by Jesse Sanchez of

The Blue Jays (George Springer) and Dodgers (Trevor Bauer) each lost $500,000 in international prize money to sign a qualified free agent this past season. In addition, the Braves are finally out of the box. Among other things, they received 50% of their total bounties over the last few years as part of the penalties for their 2017 signing scandal. Those punishments are over.

Previously, teams could trade for an additional 50% of their total prize money, although trading in the total prize pool has been banned since the MLB and the MLBPA agreed to changes in response to the pandemic. . Bonus groups are final and they are a hard limit. Unlike the draft, a team cannot exceed its total international prize money and must pay taxes. What you have, what you can spend. No more.

International players under the age of 25 can only sign for minor leagues. That’s why Shohei Ohtani had to sign a minor league contract with the Angels a few years ago. He was only 23 years old at the time, and thus did not qualify for a major league contract. That’s also why international freedom agency will take place during the lockdown. The 40-man squad (ie the federation players) does not include these young players.

Top potential customers

The person who is agreed to be the number 1 prospect in the international division this year is the Dominican shorthand Roderick Arias. As is often the case with top international prospects, Arias has been on the players’ radar for years even though he is only 17 years old. He is expected to sign the Yankees with a bonus of around $4 million. This is an excerpt of’s free spy report:

There’s a lot to like about the teenager. Starting in a defensive position holding the ball, Arias has the advantage of arms. His throws are precise and easy, and he’s always ready to shoot. His arms are strong from every angle. He also performs well with his feet with soft hands and above-average range.

At the plate, he demonstrated above-average batting skills and strike zone awareness. He shows good discipline and doesn’t miss and miss often. He shows strength from both sides of the disc, especially on the right side. There’s good opposing field strength from the left side and the overall pack can grow into a plus hitter.

The most famous prospect out there is 23-year-old Cuban midfielder Oscar Colás, who was once called “Cuban’s Ohtani” because of his two-way ability. Colás is currently just a midfielder, and he scored .269 / .319 / .481 on part-time duty with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in Japan from 2017-19.’s free spy report says Colás can “play all three positions off the field and project to hit mid-command.” He is expected to sign for the White Sox, who have been fiercely pursuing Cuban players.

Exact information on international players can be difficult to find, but bonus size is generally a good proxy for potential client status. The bigger the bonus, the more the teams trust the players. That said, bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count towards the total bonus, and certainly some of those players will turn out to be big players. Frame Valdez such as originally signed for $10,000 in 2015.

Here are some other top prospects for the 2022 international signing period:

SS William Bergolla, Venezuela: Bergolla’s father, William Sr., appeared in 17 games against the Reds in 2005. William Jr. is a complete player. said yes “praised for his baseball intelligence” and for his “good batting skills and advanced approach and understanding of the strike area.” The Phillies are expected to sign Bergolla.

SS Ricardo Cabrera, Venezuela: Arguably the best player out there this year, Cabrera is also a good defender with “soft hands, good footwork and the kind of range that can make him at least an average tackle.” ,” according to There’s a chance he could move to the third base once he’s grown up. Cabrera is tipped to sign for the Red Devils.

SS Dylan Jorge, Cuba: At 18, Jorge is one of the oldest players present during this signing period, but he is an exciting prospect thanks to a favorable club and solid defence. more “upside down and high baseball intelligence combine to make him one of the most interesting prospects” available. The Rockies are expected to sign Jorge.

RHP Jarlin Susana, Dominican Republic: Susana was the #1 consensus pitcher in this signing period. He hit 97 mph with his fast ball, then “got his slider, ran 84-87 mph and changed power with a late sink in the 86 mph range” according to Susana is expected to sign with the Padres.

By Cristian Vaquero, Cuba:’s describes Vaquero as a “potential 5-tool player with a lot of potential,” added he “plays hard with a lot of energy and shows a lot of natural instinct in practice and in game.” Vaquero is expected to sign with the Nationals and will be considered a potential top 5 pick if he qualifies for the amateurs. MLB international signing period: Top players, including ‘Cuban Ohtani’ and everything else to know

Charles Jones

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