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An overview of MLB’s international signings

📸 Photo: World Atlas

The 2022 Major League Baseball international signings began on January 15, 2022. Over 473 signings have occurred since the start of the signing period. With a lockout implemented due to standoff between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association — with no concrete proposals presented from either side — teams and baseball’s faithful look beyond the seas at international signings for a serotonin boost.

There has been a total of 16 countries through five continents that have agreed to sign with Major League teams. 

As of January 19, 2022, the Dominican Republic has rolled out 219 agreements, the most of any nation — an 80% differential percentage between them and Venezuela, who has the second-most agreements with 176 signings. Other countries include Colombia (13), Cuba (15), Panama (16), México (13), Nicaragua (5), Curaçao (1), Aruba (3), Bahamas (4), Spain (1), Australia (3), Taiwan (1), South Korea (1), Germany (1), and Russia (1). 

The Los Angeles Dodgers have the most diverse group of signees. The 2020 World Series champions have agreed to sign 31 prospects (third-most out of all 30 Major League teams) thus far in the signing period. These signings extended throughout five continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.   

The Miami Marlins made a splash with the most signings out of all 30 Major League clubs with 39 international signings as of January 19. The Marlins, who have a bonus pool sum of $5,721,200, made 51% of their agreements out of the Dominican Republic, following with 36% out of the South American borders of Venezuela. 

Since signings began, the Chicago White Sox has come to terms with three international players; that is the least amount of signings out of all teams. The 118-year old franchise ranked last in MLB Pipeline’s Farm System Rankings in August 2021. Two of the three signings were penned from the Dominican Republic and a solo singing from the island of Cuba. Despite the staggering farm system ranking, the White Sox signed No. 5 ranked international prospect 23-year-old outfielder Oscar Colas of Santiago de Cuba, and Erick Hernandez ranked at No. 28. 

The heavily decorated New York Yankees have agreed to sign No. 1 ranked prospect 17-year-old shortstop and switch-hitter Roderick Arias of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. Arias has the impressive scouting grades of a five-tool prospect with range an above-average range in all notable tool facets (hitting, hitting for power, run, arm and field). According to MLB Writer Jesse Sanchez, the Yankees and Arias agreed to a $4 million contract.    

The Washington Nationals were able to snag a signature from the No. 2 ranked prospect Cristhian Vaquero from Havana, Cuba.  

The MLB international singing period will end on Dec.15, 2022. However, there will be many more signings throughout the globe in the next year, and prospects will be able to share in the delight and hopefulness of one day fulfilling their life-long dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player.

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