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 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.

11 Responses

  1. Billy

    Doug, do you think scouting is being done off the books? When teams laid off their scouting departments, did that allow the scouts to “freelance”, getting to see players (although not in game situations) that they wouldn’t have been able to see as a team employee?

    • Bred

      If they would cheat to win a season and WS, I have no doubt the will not abide by scouting rules. “A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.”? W.C. Fields If you ain’t cheatin you ain’t tryin… baseball axiom.

    • Doug Gray

      If a scout was actually laid off rather than furloughed – sure, that guy as a non-employee can scout his heart away. But guys that were furloughed are still employees even if they aren’t being paid, and couldn’t scout.

  2. MK

    Looking at the free agent signing list this morning it looks like they are loading up on college relievers. Hopefully they aren’t going back to the plan of making relievers into starters. That either hasn’t worked or created arm injuries in the past

    • DaveCT

      Seems like they might get these kids into a program with Boddy sooner rather than later, if they are allowed that is. Pretty much give them a year of training before 2021, as opposed to trial by fire in the rookie leagues. Could be a good plan.

  3. Brad

    Now, kids who had their reps agree to deals over a year ago have to wait another 6 months.

    I still find it fascinating the MLBPA let the owners cut expenses for domestic amatuers through the draft but didnt touch International Signing budgets one bit. Complete admission these deals are being done so far in advance that you cant really mess with it. Just an odd dynamic in baseball, all around.

    • Doug Gray

      Here’s the fun part: Making a deal prior to signing day is against the rules and for some reason no one in baseball seems to care. I mean we know where dudes that are 13 and 14 years old right now are signing in 2-3 years. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

  4. DaveCT

    Hey Doug, thanks for the subscriber look at the non drafted free agents today. I was at an almost total loss for scouting info.

    Thus, anyone not spending pennies a day to get Doug’s Subscriber service is missing out.

    • Doug Gray

      Thanks Dave. I honestly don’t spend nearly as much time on articles as I did that one. That was probably an 8-10 hour article if you can believe it. I almost broke it down into two articles because of that – I simply was having too much trouble gathering info on some of these guys that I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get it all done as one piece in time.