The Cuban Federation to sell players to a Dominican Academy.

Due to the influx of juveniles leaving the island via the Dominican Republic and México the Cuban Baseball Federation has decided to enter an agreement to sell its players to an academy owned by Luis Consuegra, who was once tied to the Cuban government. The academy is based in the Dominican Republic.

Today in Havana the FCB hosted a showcase for various Cuban prospects that were approximately 16-23 years of age and some Serie Nacional players where Consuegra and scouts from various NPB and KBO teams observed the players. The players elected by scouts will either go to an NPB and KBO teams or be sold to Consuegra’s academy in the DR. The teams that attended the showcase were the SoftBank Hawks, Yomiuri Giants, Seibu Lions and the Lotte Giants

The plan for the FCB for players sold to the Consuegra’s academy is that they either sign with an MLB team or be funneled to league’s in the Caribbean. This change in policy is total 360 from Cuba’s isolation practices when it comes to the exportation of its players. From 1962 to 2013 very few players played in foreign leagues due to Cuba’s disdain for professional sports, they were eliminated by Cuban leader Fidel Castro shortly after the revolution.

The legality of these signings will come into question due to the fact that players who reside on the island without residency in a third country cannot sign a major league contract or be granted free agency by MLB because of OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Contral) sanctions placed on Cuba by the United States government. The selling of players to Consuegra’s academy could also be considered as human trafficking based on the selling of these players for the profit of the Cuban Federation, placing another roadblock on this agreement.

For a country that demonized professionalism in baseball and called it “slave ball” this change in policy seems hypocritical. What is Cuba’s end game in this and how will this drama play out?

SUB-23 PLAYERS

Catchers:

Carlos Chávez Sehara (SSP).

Infielders:

Adrián Jesús Pérez García (MTZ), Jean Lucas Baldoquín Martínez (LTU), Javier Alejandro Escobar Martínez (SSP, también jardinero), Frank David González Cuéllar (HAB, también jardinero), Xian Vega Urrutia (CFG).

Outfielders:

Danger Rafael Casi Cutiño (GTM).

Pitchers:

José Ignacio Bermúdez García (MAY), Naiki Piedra González (MTZ), Orisbel Borges Pérez (PRI), Oscar Mario Benedetti Gutiérrez (HAB), Mario Leandro Sablón Medina (HAB), Juan Carlos Pérez Redonet (PRI), Yan Carlos García Rodríguez (PRI), Silvano Echevarría González (HAB), Jonathan Cruz Castellano (SCU), Albert Valladares Sánchez (MAY), Reynaldo A. Álvarez Domínguez (SCU), Ariel Alfredo Hechevarría Rodes (HAB).

SUB-18 PLAYERS

Catchers:

Diego Fernández Hernández (HAB), Alexey Febles Lorenzo (SSP).

Infielders:

Boris Javier Madrazo Blanco (IJV), Leandro Alejandro Guerra Abreu (HOL), Gabriel Valdés Ríos (HAB).

Outfielders:

Yamel Sánchez Estévez (HAB), Maikol Rodríguez Cuevas (SSP), Yandro Manuel Castellón Hernández (HAB), Marcos Antonio Argudín Ortega (PRI), Álvaro Omar Cobas Peña (HOL).

Pitchers:

Yan Edwing Cabrera Murgia (VCL), Darío Sarduy Medina (VCL), Edgar Luis Zulueta Iznaga (SSP), Leandro Gallardo Betancourt (SSP), Robier Hernández Navarro (SSP), César Morales Rodríguez (VCL).

SERIE NACIONAL PLAYERS

Infielders:

Yaser Julio González Castro (PRI), Jonathan Bridon Sarduy (CAV), Raúl González Abascal (PRI).

Pitchers:

Leandro Alberto Ocle Bouli (PRI) Armando Abdiel Dueñas More (MTZ).

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