By Yusseff Díaz
The Andy Rodríguez defection gets more complicated as time goes on. Although SoftBank GM Sugihiko Mikasa says the righty cannot be put on the restricted list, the team is holding another ace under its sleeve.
The Havana native decided to defect last week after seeing action with the Cuban National Team in the pre-olympic tournament in West Palm Beach, Fla. Rodríguez decided not to board a flight on June 8th with a destination to Japan thereby ending his connection with the Cuban Federation.
Here in lies the problem, when Rodríguez decided not to board the flight he in essence violated the contract he signed with the Cuban Federation and the NPB. But with him not reporting Cuba deactivated his passport making it harder to travel and maybe even reporting to the Hawks.
With him not reporting SoftBank will hold him in breach of contract and hold on to his rights for the next three years. Last week Mikasa had this to say to the Japanese press,” We have been trying to contact Andy and its been to no avail. Although he was a developmental player we cannot put him on the restricted list. There is no protocol for putting these types of players on the restricted list.”
Sources tell me the team will send a delegation to Miami in the near future to speak to the pitcher about a possible return to Fukuoka,” We want to know his whereabouts and want to speak to him. We have no intention of canceling his contract.”
The difference between the Óscar Luis Colas and Andy Rodríguez situation was a call up to the big club, but in this case as opposed to the Colas situation was a call up to the big club. But in this case the NPB ball club might be holding all the cards, so stay tuned.
In his brief time in the minors with Softbank’s Japanese Western League team the Cuban had a record of 1-0, 2.25 earned run average and four strikeouts.