Each summer, Major League Baseball teams have an ample amount of opportunities to replenish their farm system, beginning with the MLB Draft in June.
This year’s event had a much different look, as it was shortened to five rounds instead of the usual 40 due to financial losses brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Los Angeles Dodgers still managed to make six additions, including Louisville right-hander Bobby Miller, who was selected with the No. 29 overall pick in the first round.
After the MLB Draft concludes, the focus typically shifts to the start of the international signing period. Beginning July 2, teams can sign prospects with their international bonus pool space.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, MLB has decided to postpone the start of the 2020-21 international signing period to Jan. 15, 2021, via J.J. Cooper of Baseball America:
The start of the international signing period has been officially moved back by more than six months, MLB informed Baseball America on Monday. Instead of being eligible to sign on July 2, 2020, the top international players will now have to wait until Jan. 15, 2021 to sign professional contracts.
By pushing back the start of the 2020-21 international signing period to early next year, teams will be permitted to sign eligible players through Dec. 15, 2021. As a ripple effect, MLB is also expected to postpone the start of the 2021-22 international signing period.
What’s more, the current 2019-20 international signing period has been extended to Oct. 15. After that date, there will be a three-month period in which no signings are allowed.
The Dodgers have established themselves as one of the most aggressive teams on the international market in recent years. On the first day of the 2019-20 international signing period, the club inked the likes of Luis Rodriguez and Kristian Cardozo.
This year, the Dodgers fall in the middle of the pack in terms of international bonus pool money. They can spend as much as $5,348,100 on international prospects, along with 11 other teams.
The Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays ($6,431,000) have the most international bonus pool space.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!