This week, MLB and the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) came to an agreement to allow Cuban born players to sign with MLB teams. One day later, the deal was finalized, and we, of course, have questions.
On Tuesday, Francys Romero first reported that MLB and the FCB had reached an agreement to allow Cuban-born baseball players to sign with MLB teams. At the time, Romero told WTTS that, per his sources, he believed that the deal could be finalized sometime in mid-2019.
Much to everyone’s surprise, however, the next day Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports took to Twitter to report that the deal between MLB and the FCB had been finalized.
Breaking: Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation have agreed on historic deal that would allow Cuban players to come to MLB without being smuggled, sources tell Yahoo Sports. The big question: Will the Trump Administration allow it? News: https://t.co/5yNubdzNFf
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 19, 2018
The news of this historic agreement could not have come at a better time for MLB, who was having a bit of a rough 2018. Surprisingly enough, much of what has made 2018 so rough directly to baseball’s relationship with Cuba.
For example, in August 2018, former member of MLB’s Department of Investigations (DOI), Eddie Dominguez, published a tell-all book called “Baseball Cop,” in which he uncovers the dark side of MLB. In this book Eddie Reveals, in grave detail, the lengths Cuban born players go through to get a shot at the big leagues.
Later, the Daily Beast reported that MLB tried to “kill” Eddie Dominguez’s book before it came out. This raises the question of why? Were Mr. Dominguez’s claims so damaging to MLB’s brand that they wanted the story stopped before it ever got out?
Then, in October 2018, a Sports Illustrated report revealed that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) was investigating MLB teams international signing practices. Later that month, WTTS uncovered a report out of the Dominican Republic in which a búscon reveals that MLB teams are signing international players as young as 13.
Considering that all of these happenings occurred inside of a few months – from August to December – we at WTTS are digging deeper into this story, and trying to figure out what exactly happened here.