July 2nd is not just any day in the Dominican Republic. It's the day magic happens, dreams come true, and lives change.
Or so we hope. Today, July 2nd, opens Major League Baseball's (MLB) signing period for international players. Latin American baseball talent is funneled through the DR, so it's an emotionally heightened day for all. There is no international draft for now. Territories outside of the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico are not under the limitations or strictures - or protective rules - of the MLB draft.
The international signing period has it's own set of rules, only touched on in this post:
The lack of an international draft is a good thing in many ways. For one, international players compete in a smaller pool of talent. In other ways, not so much good. Without strictures and oversight, signing talent can be a pretty sketchy business. But this is a story for another post.
July 2nd is the biggest of days. It sets the tone for the signing season. Not everyone will experience magic, or have their dreams come true, or have their lives change today. But I hope these hardworking Dominican baseball players vying for an MLB contract this season will receive something for their efforts. And at a fair price, ethically given.
E. B. Gallardo