Major League Baseball and the Mexican Baseball League (LMB) have implemented a player transfer agreement between the two leagues, MLB announced in a statement on Tuesday. The agreement has been approved by the MLB Players’ Association.
The agreement follows transfer protocols between the MLB and other international leagues, such as the NPB in Japan and the FCB in Cuba.
“Major League Baseball is pleased to further solidify its longstanding relationship with the LMB with this agreement,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said.
“Mexico is an important market for our game, as demonstrated by our three series in Monterrey in the months ahead. We look forward to the opportunities to develop more Major League players and baseball fans in the country.”
The language of the agreement will sound familiar to fans who have watched professional Japanese players cross the Pacific to play with MLB clubs, such as Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels and Kenta Maeda of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
If a player in the LMB qualifies as a foreign professional, he can sign with an MLB club in any offseason he chooses. To qualify as a foreign professional under the current MLB/MLBPA collective bargaining agreement, one must be at least 25 years old and have at least six professional seasons of experience.
The LMB can also release players to sign with MLB clubs before they reach those thresholds.
If an LMB player is signed to a major league contract, the team signing the player will owe the player’s LMB squad a one-time fee of 15 percent of the player’s contract value. If the player signs a minor league contract, the fee becomes 35 percent of the player’s signing bonus.