List of International Baseball Leagues

International Baseball Leagues

While an American-bred sport, baseball has been expanded to 18 other countries across the globe. Countries where baseball is played professionally:

  • Dominican Republic
  • Puerto Rico
  • Cuba
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Nicaragua
  • Venezuela
  • Colombia
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • China
  • The Philippines
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • Australia

Although many teams play professional baseball, only a few teams are internationally recognized. The Best International Baseball Teams and how they're set up.

When examining each league we will look at the following:

  • Teams
  • Free agency
  • Rules
  • Pitch Count Limits
  • Video Replay Review
  • Mercy Rules
  • Inning Rules
  • Signing Rules
  • Amateur versus Professional

How players from international countries can join Major League Baseball in the United States

From July 2nd to July 15th, MLB teams go through a process called the International Signing Period. During this time period, teams are eligible to sign any players who either turn 17 before September 1st of that year, will turn 17 during their first professional season, or players who are 17, but have yet to sign MLB-affiliated professional contracts. Players from the United States, Canada, or Puerto Rico are off limits. All of these players are amateur, not yet professional. Each major league team is given a pool of money that is available to sign contracts with eligible international players.

Cuban Baseball League

  • 16 teams
  • 2 zones, not leagues
  • Each province has a team
  • No free agency

Dominican Republic Baseball League

  • 6 teams
  • A winter-only league
  • A lot of players reach MLB from here

Japanese Baseball League

  • 12 teams
  • 2 leagues
  • Very similar to MLB
  • Ties are allowed (because games end after 12 innings)

Winter Leagues

The winter league in baseball is leagues that have their season during/around the time of fall/winter, when other professional baseball leagues are in their offseason. Winter Leagues include the Arizona Fall League (for prospects), the Caribbean Leagues, and the Australian Baseball League.