It is right in the middle of the winter, and while for most Atlanta Braves fans the focus may be on other sports, we are fast-approaching one of the biggest days each year for baseball. The 2024 international free agency period opens on Monday, and a fresh influx of talent will welcome fans of the minor leagues next season.
The 2024 Signing Period
Starting on Monday, January 15th teams will be eligible to sign this year’s crop of players, and that period will be open until December 15th. The first-time eligible players this season will be those born between September 1st 2006 and August 31st, 2007.
International Signing Pools
Signing pools are done in tiers, based on which (if any) competitive balance round pick a team received and whether they signed any free agents with a qualifying offer attached to them. The Braves fall dead in the middle in the third of five tiers, holding claim to neither a pick nor free agent. Therefore they have a $5,925,000 bonus pool which, spoiler alert, they are going to blow right through. Teams will be allowed to trade international spots starting on Monday. These can be traded in increments of $250,000, and the Braves can acquire up to 60% excess of their bonus pool in trades.
Who are the Braves expected to sign?
It’s no secret that teams have long had deals in place with the trainers of these young teenagers, and the Braves have been linked to one of the top players in this class for a number of years. Atlanta is expected to officially sign shortstop Jose Perdomo, seen as a consensus top three prospect in this class and the one expected to get the biggest signing bonus, to a deal in the range of $6 million. Tapping once again into the Venezuelan pipeline, Perdomo is the best international prospect the Braves will have signed since their penalties and is lauded for his hitting ability and potential to stick at shortstop. This is the only top prospect that the Braves are connected to, and it’s easy to see why as he eats up their entire main bonus pool. If he does not come in at just below $6 million they would be required to trade for slots in order to sign him or anyone else. There will also be a number of smaller signings, especially given that any signing below $10,000 does not count against a team’s bonus pool.