Five Cubans could possibly play for Yucatán in the WBSC Champions League.

The Leones de Yucatán will be México’s representative in the first edition of the Baseball Champions League , according to what the WBSC announced this Monday, July 10. This will be the first tournament for world champion baseball league clubs, it will begin in the Americas and future editions are expected to include baseball clubs from America, Asia and Europe. Yucatán announced it’s preliminary roster for the tournament yesterday and it will include Cubans Yadir Drake, Lázaro Alonso, Yoanner Negrín, Elián Leyva and Cuban-American JC Escarra .

Drake who is the leader of the 2021-22 Mexican League Champs hit .360 with six longballs and 66 runs batted in with the club this season will also be a big part of the team’s offense during the tournament. Added to reinforce the offense will be JC Escarra, the Cuban-American is currently playing for the Algodoneros Unión Laguna and leads the Mexican League in homeruns this offseason.

Leyva who was an All-Star this season in the CPBL will more than likely solidify the rotation and be its ace. While Yoanner Negrín who has one more than 60 games in LMB will be an interesting and versatile piece for the Leones in the tournament. Lázaro Alonso will be a spot starter and a pinch-hitter for Yucatán.

This first edition will be played in Yucatan, Mexico and the Leones organization and the Liga Mexicana de Béisbol will be in charge of hosting the tournament. The first participants for this unprecedented tournament will be teams from the United States, Mexico, Cuba and Colombia.

As per the words of the President of the LMB, Horacio de la Vega, the headquarters of the editions of the Baseball Champions League in 2023 and 2024 will be Mexico. “In the LMB we promote the fan experience more than baseball, that goes hand in hand with everything that happens in Yucatan. Mexico will host the Baseball Champions League in 2023 and in 2024 this year’s champion will be the host,” declared de la Vega.

The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks team, champion of the American Association, an MLB partner league , will be present for the United States. The champion team of the Mexican Baseball League in 2022, the Leones de Yucatan , will be present for the host country. The Alazanes de Granma, 2022 Serie Nacional champions, will be the representatives for the largest of the Antilles.

Representing Colombia will be the Caimanes de Barranquilla, the 2021 Colombian Winter League Champions and the monarchs of the Serie del Caribe in 2022. This event will take place from September 28 to October 1, 2023. The competition format will be round-robin. The four teams will face each other in a round robin. The top two teams will play the final while the two remaining teams will play for third place.

Yucatán’s roster for the tournament:

Sebastián Valle
Alexis Wilson
Ángel Chavarín
Gilberto Vizcarra
Luis Juárez
Luis Sardiñas
Agustín Murillo
Lázaro Alonso
Diego Madero
Marco Jaime
Ángel Camacho
Cristhian Adames
Jonathan Villar
JC Escarra
Aderlín Rodríguez
José Martínez
Norberto Obeso
Fabricio Macías
Anthony García
Yadir Drake
Henderson Álvarez
Félix Doubront
Jake Thompson
Francisco Haro
Jesús Cruz
Enrique Burgos
Williams Ramírez
Yoanner Negrín
Alexandro Tovalín
Miguel Aguilar
Manuel Chávez
Dalton Rodríguez
Saúl Vázquez
Yamil Castillo
José Torres
Elián Leyva
Gabriel Ynoa
Elkin Alcalá
Nate Antone
Brandon Brennan

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