New MLB Deal Will Allow Cubans to Sign Baseball Contracts Without Defecting

New MLB Deal Will Allow Cubans to Sign Baseball Contracts Without Defecting

An announcement was expected later Wednesday.

Cuban players older than age 25 or with six years of service in Cuban leagues will be free to sign with MLB teams, he added. Gerardo Concepcion, who made three Major League Baseball appearances with the Cubs in 2016, signed a $6 million deal also in 2012.

"We are just trying to create a safe way for Cubans to play in the major leagues". "I want to thank everyone who was involved in making this happen and thank them personally for allowing an opportunity for Cuban baseball players to have the ability to come and show how talented they are".

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. "Dealing with the exploitation of smugglers and unscrupulous agencies will finally come to an end for the Cuban baseball player".

Puig went on to sign a seven-year, $42 million deal with Los Angeles, but for a period of time the syndicate reportedly continued to try to get money out of him for their help with smuggling him out of Cuba.

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. "I am really happy and wish future players the best. There's a lot of talent in that country".

The United States has had a long-standing embargo with Cuba since 1962 and it took a large amount of diplomacy from the Obama administration to soften sanctions between the two countries.

It is unclear when the agreement will take effect.

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

The U.S.is "aware" of an agreement between Major League Baseball and the FCB "to be signed in the coming days", a State Department spokesperson said Wednesday.

Such a deal would have been virtually impossible under the U.S.

However, the Trump administration could still intervene. He described the new system as a way of protecting the quality of Cuban baseball while allowing players to head to MLB without resorting to traffickers or breaking ties with their country.

Teams will be required to pay a release fee to the FCB team if they sign a player, which is essentially the same as a posting fee to Asian teams.

Halem, however, said the agreement "provides no economic or commercial benefit" to Major League Baseball or team owners. The administration official said the Trump administration will "restrict the Cuban regime's ability to profit from US business", and condemns human rights violations carried out by the Cuban government.

Cuba has long prevented its players from leaving legally to play in the USA, but after more than three years of negotiating, the sides finally negotiated a financial structure acceptable to the FCB.

Similar deals are already in place between the United States and Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

The fees would be between 15 and 20 percent of total guaranteed value for players signing major league contacts, or 25 percent of the signing bonus for minor league deals. The league said OFAC confirmed to Major League Baseball in a letter dated September 20, 2016, that an agreement with the Cuban federation would be valid.

As recently as this summer, highly regarded brothers Victor Victor Mesa, 22, and Victor Mesa Jr., 16, defected from Cuba, established residency in the Dominican Republic and signed in October with the Miami Marlins out of their worldwide bonus-pool money for a total of $6.25 million.

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

The Washington Post reported that the deal required "extensive" discussions between Major League Baseball and the Trump administration, given the U.S. embargo against Cuba and the president's more recent rollback of Obama-era deals.

Major League Baseball has been seeking a solution to the messy process of bringing Cuban talent to the US for years.

Some left their squads while traveling overseas with a national team, but others risked their lives by depending on smugglers to get them out.

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