WTTS Pod: MLB and Cuba Agree To Let Cuban Players Sign With MLB Teams

On Tuesday, Francys Romero was the first to report that MLB and Cuba reached an agreement to allow Cuban players to sign with MLB teams. He joined us to discuss the implications of this deal.

On Tuesday, Francys Romero was the first to report the news that MLB and Cuba had reached an agreement to allow Cuban players to sign with MLB teams. Just now, Jeff Passan reported that the historic agreement has officially been finalized.

Francys joined WTTS Pod to talk about the implications of this agreement. Our conversation, however, took place before news broke that it had been finalized.

In the interview, Mr. Romero pointed out how this deal would mostly benefit MLB. Especially after MLB came under scrutiny when Eddie Dominguez published his book Baseball Cop, which detailed instances of player trafficking. They came under even more scrutiny after the DOJ launched an investigation into MLB team’s international signing practices.

This deal could potentially put an end to the practice of player trafficking, and could incentivize Cuban players to stay in Cuba until they are signed by a big league team.

For Cuba, the benefits of this agreement are mostly financial. According to Romero, since 2003, some 300 or so players have fled Cuba for the US. Since 2008, Cuban born players have earned upwards of $700M in MLB contracts. Cuba has received no benefit in the exchange of money between MLB and Cuban Born players.

Now, with a system in place similar to that of Japan’s, according to Jeff Passan, “players would come to the United States on work visas, and teams would pay the CBF, a nongovernmental organization that runs pro baseball in Cuba, for the release of their rights”.

It’s hard to believe that inside of 24-hours this whole thing unfolded. Shout out to Francys Romero for getting to the story before anybody else.


Author: Manny Gómez

Having grown up in Washington Heights, a small Dominican neighborhood just one mile away from Yankee Stadium, Manny is a life-long Yankees fan. He began pursuing his passion for writing about baseball in March 2018 when he co-founded a small baseball media company called Welcome to THE SHOW. Manny is also a contributor at Call to the Pen. Follow Manny on twitter @MannyGo3.

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