NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has delayed the start of the new international signings 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 signings 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 signings 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 signings period as part of a March 26 agreement with the players’ association.