Starting today, teams will be allowed to sign international players for the 2023 international signing period.
Newly eligible to sign are players who turned 16 before September 1, 2022. A majority of the players signing today will be first-time eligible players, most 16-17 years old.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been connected to some big names, but don’t expect today to be the busiest/best day of their signing class.
The Pirates signed a total of 28 players last year in a signing period that ran from January 15th through December 15th. More than half of those players (18) signed on January 15th, and another first-day player signed on the 17th.
This year will be something similar, though today won’t be the only signing day.
There will be three signing groups across the next three days, with the Pirates expected to sign 22 players total among those groups if all goes well. Some of the agreements or bonus amounts you might hear today won’t be official until those signings take place.
There have been three notable players who have been connected to the Pirates. According to reports, the Pirates are the favorites to sign Dominican outfielder Raymond Mola, Korean pitcher Jun-Seok Shim, and Cuban outfielder Cristian Jauregui.
Shim and Mola were rated as top 30 prospects by Jesse Sanchez on MLB Pipeline. Jauregui has only recently been cleared to sign.
The Pirates have spent all of their international bonus pool money every year for quite some time, so expect them to at least spend their $5,825,500 bonus pool, but the opportunity will be there to add more.
Teams were able to acquire 60% more before the ability to trade bonus pool space was stopped two years ago. That 60% number is probably back into effect, but I will update this if I hear otherwise.
In summary, today will be a busy day, but not everything you will hear from various sources will be official. I will sort through that as it comes in.
A large majority of the news with this signing class will happen between today and Tuesday, but there will also be news later this month.
Then we can watch for players (and possibly bonus pool money) being added throughout the other ten months of the signing period.
Pirates Prospects Daily
By Tim Williams
Highlight of the Day
**The 2023 international signing period begins today. John wrapped up the 2022 international class on Saturday evening with scouting reports on the final two signings.
**In the latest Pirates Winter Report, John wrote about the experience that Jase Bowen is getting in Australia.
**Ernny Ordonez and Chavez Young homered in the latest Pirates winter league update.
**Missed yesterday? Anthony Murphy broke down the signing of Andrew McCutchen, and what he brings to the Pirates lineup, beyond nostalgia.
Song of the Day
Pirates Prospects Weekly – Saturday
In the latest Pirates Winter Report, John Dreker looks at the experience that Jase Bowen is adding in Australia.
Ethan Hullihen takes a look at the Domestic Reserve List in his latest Pirates Business article on Sunday at noon.