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When the MLB Lockout began this past Thursday, there was still a lot of confusion as to if the 2021-22 MLB International Signing Day would still take place or be delayed. Through multiple contacts that deal with international players, and Major League Baseball I've been able to ascertain that the January 15, 2022 signing day will still take place. 

The reason for the date remaining the same is that the contracts the international players are signing are being handled and characterized as minor league contracts. Minor league players and their contracts are not part of the ongoing lockout and the current negotiations of the new CBA. Minor league players are still allowed to work out at team facilities as well as contact and work with their organization's trainers, coaches and all employees during the lockout. The 2022 minor league season will remain unaffected. Players on their teams' 40-man rosters will not be able to partake in minor league games.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the international signing period used to begin on July 2, but now begins on January 15 of every season. An international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between January 15 and December 15, 2022. He must turn 16 before he signs. In practical terms, that means players born after Sept. 1, 2005, are eligible to sign.

The Cleveland Guardians are currently linked to 13 players for their 2021 international signing class that are set to sign on the January 15, 2022, date or shortly thereafter. Two of the top players in the class set to sign and become future Guardians are outfielder Jason Chourio out of Maracaibo, Venezuela and catcher Victor Isturiz out of Barquisimeto, Venezuela. Both will be signed to contracts just north of $1MM dollars each.

Chourio is a switch-hitting outfielder that is a dynamic athlete with many tools that should be able to stick in centerfield. Chourio projects to be an above-average runner and has a plus arm. It's too early to project him as a batter, but like many prospects his age, he is working on his plate discipline and pitch recognition. Chourio’s older brother Jackson Chourio, a shortstop, signed with the Brewers during the previous international signing period.

Izturis a left-handed bat that is currently a contact hitter with some pop that has great barrel awareness and is able to recognize pitches well in the strike zone. On defense, he shows soft hands and developing arm strength with a chance to be an overall above-average catcher in the future. Victor is the nephew of former MLB infielders Cesar and Maicer Izturis.


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