MLB citizenship is a big deal because the rules tell us so. Even more significant, player citizenship impacts how much money is earned and draft options.
Thus, allow me to break down one of the many rules that apply to foreign players – Rule 3.
MLB Citizenship: What is Rule 3?
Rule 3(a) tells us who can and cannot sign a contract. Then, this rule divides players into two groups:
- Baseball players who live in the United States and Canada, and
- Players residing anywhere else.
MLB Citizenship: What is considered the United States?
Right or wrong, the rule defines the United States as the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and any other Commonwealth, Territory or Possession of the United States of America.
Interestingly enough, the rule does not define what is or is not Canada. If you can make an argument that your home is governed by British Parliament or another foreign sovereign, then perhaps you can use this to your advantage.
MLB Citizenship: United States and Canada
According to Rule 3, Players who identify Canada and the USA are unable to:
- Sign a contract at the age of 16,
- Avoid the draft, and
- Cannot use the international bonus pool to their financial advantage.
Players who identify Canada and the USA are able to:
- Live with freedoms and rights foreign players can only dream about.
Thus, reduce your complaints accordingly.
MLB Citizenship: Foreign Players
So you know, I am a huge proponent of education and seeking citizenship in the free world. In terms of Rule 3, this is what we know.
For players who want to sign a MLB or MiLB contract with the highest signing bonus possible and reside outside Canada and the Unite States need to determine whether:
- their residence could impact their draft status, and
- reviewing if attending High School, College or Junior College in the United States or Canada will impact their ability to sign an early contract with a MLB or MiLB Club.
MLB Citizenship: Impact of Rule 3
It is no coincidence that MLB and MiLB have partnered to facilitate leagues in Mexico, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
Players who reside (even temporarily) in Canada and the United States should review the rules for the Rule 4 draft.
On the other hand, players living in other parts of the World are required to take on a different strategy.