Deal allows Cubans to sign with big league baseball teams without defecting

Deal allows Cubans to sign with big league baseball teams without defecting

Deal allows Cubans to sign with big league baseball teams without defecting

The administration contends Cuban players should sign contracts individually, not as part of a broader agreement with Cuba's governing body for baseball.

Under this agreement, the FCB must release all players under contract to the FCB who are at least 25 years old and have six or more years of playing experience (known as "Foreign Professionals" under MLB rules) to sign with MLB Clubs.

A State Department official told NPR in an emailed statement that the agency is aware of the agreement and that baseball players will still have to go to another country to apply for a work visa, in accordance with USA policy.

In 2014, Los Angeles Magazine revealed how Dodgers' star Yasiel Puig had been smuggled to the USA in risky conditions and held captive by traffickers, underscoring the severity of the issue.

Under the deal, which marks a ray of light in fraught U.S. Once a player is released by the Cuban federation, he is free to negotiate and sign with any Major League club without leaving Cuba, subject to the same collectively bargained rules applicable to all global players.

That is likely a reference to a license granted to the league in 2016 by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control that specifically allowed major league clubs to scout and sign Cuban players and permitted them to travel to the US. The International Chamber of Commerce will handle any disputes between the leagues.

Just like in instances with players coming from Japan, Korea and China, there will be a "release fee", or "posting fee" that Major League Baseball clubs will have to pay to the FBC for players that they agree to sign. He was 26 when he defected via the Dominican Republic and signed a deal with the White Sox worth $68 million, just behind Rusney Castillo's 2014 deal with the Red Sox, worth $72.5 million, as the biggest for a Cuban player in baseball history.

"To know future Cuban players will not have to go through what we went through makes me so happy", Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig said.

The release fee would be between 15% and 20% of the total guaranteed value for Major League Baseball contracts for players at least 25 years old.

When the player is ready to report to the USA or Canada for baseball activities, they will do so in accordance with a standard work visa, which will also allow him to travel with his family and to return to Cuba in the offseason if he chooses. But numerous Cuban defectors have languished in the minor leagues or were released. In Cuba the basic salary for players is $50 per month.

"Words can not fully express my heartfelt joy", Chicago White Sox All-Star first baseman Jose Abreu said in a statement.

In MLB's view, the move was motivated by humanitarian concerns to halt the influence of smugglers and traffickers who have preyed upon Cuban defectors in the past. "To this date, I am still harassed".

OFAC determined that MLB teams were allowed to transfer money to the Cuban Baseball Federation because it was not a government agency, Halem said.

Players will need to get a work visa, Major League Baseball said.

The A's now have a top Cuban prospect in their system.

Addressing young players' families, he said, "This is the legal path, the secure path that we've always dreamed of for their children".

"Establishing a safe, legal process for entry to our system is the most important step we can take to ending the exploitation and endangerment of Cuban players who pursue careers in Major League Baseball", MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark said.

In the current signing period that started July 2, the largest signing bonus for a Cuban-born amateur has been $975,000 for outfielder Jairo Pomares with San Francisco.

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