Major League Baseball’s Opening Day Rosters Featured 269 International Players

Randy Arozarena of the Tampa Bay Rays is one of 269 players on opening day rosters in Major League Baseball who aren’t from the United States. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

A total of 269 international-born players from 19 countries or territories outside the United States were on 2023 opening day rosters on March 30, including players on the injured list and players on the inactive list.  

This is the third-highest number of internationally-born players on Opening Day rosters since Major League Baseball began releasing annual data in 1995. The two seasons that featured more international players on opening day rosters were 2020, with 291 players, due to the expanded 30-man rosters for the pandemic-shortened campaign, and 2022, with 275 international players on the 28-man rosters. 

The Dominican Republic, among countries and territories outside the United States, had the most players on opening day rosters with 104. The only year the Dominican Republic had more players on Major League rosters on opening day was 2020, when the country had 110. 

During the 2023 World Baseball Classic, 89 of the 269 international players were on Thursday’s opening day rosters.  Seven of the players that played on Opening Day and in the 2023 World Baseball Classic were selected to the All-World Baseball Classic Team after the tournament. Randy Arozarena (Mexico; Cuban descent/birthplace), Javier Báez (Puerto Rico), Yu Chang (Chinese Taipei), Yoán Moncada (Cuba), Shohei Ohtani (Japan), Salvador Perez (Venezuela) and Masataka Yoshida (Japan) were the seven that made the 2023 All-World Baseball Classic Team.  

For the third straight year, the 2022 World Series Champion Houston Astros have the most internationally born players on its Opening Day roster with 16.  

Major League Baseball will have two separate regular season series played internationally this year.  The San Diego Padres will play the San Francisco Giants in Mexico City at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu, home of the Diablos Rojos del Mexico of Liga Mexicana De Beisbol on April 29 and 30. The St. Louis Cardinals will play the Chicago Cubs at London Stadium, the home of the West Ham United F.C. of the Premier League, on June 24 and 25. 

International Born Players by Country per
1. Dominican Republic – 104
2. Venezuela – 62
3. Cuba – 21
4. Puerto Rico – 19
5. Mexico – 15 
6. Canada – 10
7. Japan – 8
8. Colombia – 7
9-T. Curaçao – 4
9-T. Panama – 4
9-T. South Korea – 4
12-T. The Bahamas – 2
12-T. Nicaragua – 2
14-T. Aruba – 1
14-T. Australia – 1
14-T. Brazil – 1
14-T. Germany – 1
14-T. Honduras – 1
14-T. Taiwan – 1

Clubs With the Most International Players per
1. Astros – 16
2-T. Twins – 15
2-T. Padres – 15
4-T. Marlins – 13
4-T. Yankees – 13
6-T. White Sox – 11
6-T. Mets – 11
6-T. Athletics – 11

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