MLB delays start of new international signing period until Jan. 15, 2021

The Cardinals' Carlos Martínez and the Royals' Salvador Perez are two of the many international free agents who have gone on to become MLB All-Stars. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MLB teams will not be permitted to start signing the next wave of international free agents until Jan. 15, 2021.
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NEW YORK — Major League Baseball has delayed the start of the new international signing period from July 2 until Jan. 15, a move that will cause teams to push back deals for 16- and 17-year-old Latin American prospects.

MLB said the current signing year, scheduled to end Monday, had been extended until 5 p.m. EDT on Oct. 15. There has been a transaction freeze since March 28, and any agreements between the end of the freeze and Oct. 15 will count for the 2019-20 signings year.

No international amateurs can be signed from Oct. 15 until the new period opens on Jan. 15 at 9 a.m. EST. The 2020-21 signing period will extend until Dec. 15, 2021.

Because many teams have spent most or all of their international signing bonus pools, and several have exceeded their threshold, clubs will put off finalizing new agreements.

MLB gained the right to delay the signing period as part of a March 26 agreement with the players’ association.