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MLB’s international signing season has been delayed

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It’s another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Cubs’ baseball academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic
Danny Rockett

With as much bad baseball news as we've seen the last few weeks, the delay of the international signing season is minute. However, it deserves a mention. With owners either strapped for cash or unwilling to spend what they have (that's your decision), this doesn't come as a surprise.

The new signing period will start on January 15, 2021, and the next signing period might get pushed back, as well, to January 2022. It appears teams will no longer be able to trade for added spending allotments. Per the notification, the Cubs will be able to spend $5,348,100 on the 2021-2022 cycle, with only the Angels, Phillies, Yankees, and Braves having smaller allotments.

The elimination of trades involving international spending seems yet another situation of discouraging teams from benefiting from something they do well. Teams that excel internationally will have no way to leverage a way into spending more. I'm confident owners will get an international draft and soon as they can, to limit international players' ability to choose a team they prefer.

From the Cubs perspective, this delays Cristian Hernandez’ presumed arrival into the system by half a year, and keeps him from being under direct Cubs tutelage for that long, as well. This isn't the worst baseball news of the week, but it isn't helpful. I seriously doubt much action is happening currently at the Boca Chica site, but delaying paying young players their bonus money makes self-improvement that much harder. There are few things that the Rob Manfred administration has done this year that I've approved of. This isn't one of them.