The international signing period that usually begins on July 2nd for amateur players has been pushed back for this year. That has been a possibility since the baseball world shut down back in March, and it’s been discussed before. But with just over two weeks before it was set to start, and the current signing period set to enter a “stoppage” like there is every year from mid-June until the new period begins, it comes as a surprise to be announced now. The current signing period will be extended until October 15th. There will be no signings allowed after then until the new period begins on January 15th according to Kyle Glaser of Baseball America.
The current international signing period will be extended until 5 pm ET on Oct. 15. There will be a "closed period" (no signings) from 5 pm Oct. 15 through 9 am ET Jan. 15, 2021.
The 2020-21 international signing period will then start and last from Jan. 15, 2021-Dec. 15, 2021 https://t.co/fgNCHx206r
— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) June 15, 2020
The Cincinnati Reds were looking like they were going to land two 7-figure bonus players in the upcoming signing period in outfielders Malvin Valdez and Ariel Almonte. Not that moving the signing period back likely changes that at all, and assuming that the signing period does come to fruition in January, for the players it only changes when they get their signing bonus – they weren’t going to have 2020 counted as a season as they were going to be signing contracts for 2021 in this period anyways.
While the dates for signing have changed, the dates for players eligible to sign are not. Players must still be 16-years-old by August 31, 2020 in order to sign when the period begins in January. Anyone who turns 16 after that date will still have to wait until the following signing period according to JJ Cooper of Baseball America.
While not entirely on the same note, it’s close – Major League Baseball is allowing teams to begin scouting activities again, but in limited fashion. Kiley McDaniel of ESPN reported on Monday that teams can send scouts to live events again. While there’s no professional baseball season happening, there are some amateur events taking place – including this week at the Perfect Game National showcase in Alabama.
Teams have been banned from scouting in person since March 19th. Now they can get out and go see players in person again, but at events there is a limit of three scouts per organization allowed at an event. This, however, only applies to domestic events. International scouting is still banned for in-person views. They are allowed to receive video and data on players.