Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Normalizing The Relationship Between The United States And Cuba

Earlier today President Barack Obama announced that the United States is taking steps to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba.

While this is a huge story in the grand scheme of things, seeing as how things between the United States and Cuba haven't been "normal" for 50 years, baseball fans can't help but wonder how this affects Cuban players and Major League Baseball.

One really good thing about this announcement is that we should no longer hear horror stories about how players have defected from Cuba, putting themselves and/or their families in danger. Not to mention those defectors no longer being able to see their families once they left Cuba.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean Cuban players will be totally free to sign with an MLB club should they wish to. Chances are some type of system will be set up to make it a little tougher to acquire those players.

One possibility would be a posting system similar to the one used for Japanese players. In case you don't remember how that one goes, any MLB team can negotiate with a player from Nippon Professional Baseball as long as they agree to give the Japanese team that player is leaving a $20 million posting fee. Of course, the NPB team has to agree to post the player first. This is how the Yankees got Masahiro Tanaka.

Then there's the system in place with the Mexican professional baseball league. In that, the team that signs a player from the Mexican League has to pay said player a signing bonus, and 75% of that bonus goes to the team from Mexico.

There are other implications affecting baseball other than acquiring Cuban players. Things such as Cuba being able to field teams in the World Baseball Classic made up of players other than those still in Cuba. Or what about MLB games being played in Cuba, where the game is huge? Heck, this opens up the possibility of an expansion team being put in Cuba (note: I find that unlikely, as the country probably couldn't support an MLB team, but possibly a minor league one.).

This story is much bigger than baseball, and we're unlikely to see the effects on of this new relationship on the game for many years, but you can be sure that everybody involved in Major League Baseball is paying close attention.


  1. Bryan Van Dusan :
    CUBA...a bullet to the head. may thousands have been executed, or died in death cells, because
    they disagreed with this communist regime?
    Cuba...who stirs anti-american feelings word wide ?
    Cuba...a vile, dangerous, oppressive country that wants America over-thrown ?
    Cuba...John F Kennedy took a bullet to the head, directed from Havana.

    But the muslim president of America wants to normalize relationships. Really ?
    Screw him. Screw Cuba. Screw their ball teams.

    Next, he will legalize that whole country, and you Bryan will pay for it.

    1. Bryan, have you not payed attention to what This President has been doing? Everything he did yesterday is against the law and constitution. He has been doing it for the last 3 years and nobody could do anything about it. Because anything passed by the other party dies in the Senate by the Dems.

    2. No, I don't pay attention to politics at all. They are a waste of time. As long as gas prices continue to fall, why should I care?

      By the way... This is a Yankees blog. If you want to talk politics please go elsewhere.

    3. BRYAN :
      CUBA...lets try once more.

      My remarks put up yesterday were factual historical truths. Not politics.
      Ken's remarks are fact. Your remarks I find to be sad.
      Too many people who fly under the flag of.." I don't pay attention to politics at all. They are a waste of time. ........why should I care? "
      Has put this nation where it is today.

      I do not have to be told that this is a Yankee blog. This site many times is free form.
      And, I will say what I want, when I wish to.

  2. But this stopped the ban on Cuban cigars and sugar cane..... win win.

    It's not a total lift, travel is still restricted. That would have to go through Congress and such.

    1. Wrong, there is an embargo on Cuba! Which means nothing in or out too or from the USA.
      The embargo was enacted by Congress...which is not changeable by anyone other than them.
      The President has no Standing or say what so ever on this!


    For the past two years, every player I am high on...signs elsewhere.
    From Balfour to Melky, and now Sergio Romo.
    I'm cursed.

    Nice closer / 7-8 pitcher.
    31 years old....31-21, with a 2.58 ERA the past seven seasons with the Giants.
    Resigned today with the Giants...$ 15MM.

  4. REMEMBER 2014 ?..
    Lets see if these guys jog your memories.

    Chaz Roe RHP....a September call-up. Pitched 2 innings..3H, 3BB, 2ER...released.
    Eury Perez OF....September call-up. 10 AB...1 hit ? Maybe. Now assigned to AAA.
    Rich Hill LHP....Signed minor league deal after the All-Star break. Called up after Matt Thornton
    was put on waivers. Left the Yanks as a FA.

    So how did you do ? Confused, I'm sure. There seemed to be 30-40 of those guys last year.


    Remember this guy ? A September call-up.
    This guy was faster than Gardner. I think he stole 5 bases in four games. So very fast.
    He batted around 330, in his limited at bats. Did not not embarrass himself in the field either.

    Remember him ? a smaller version of Mickey Rivers.
    Anyway....Yanks let him walk at seasons end. Now a Texas Ranger.
    I'm cursed.

  6. patrick

    you forgot Josh Outman and a slew of other ridiculous call ups and scrap heap signings. I don't think anyone wants to remember 2014, or 2013.

  7. I would have loved Romo on the team. Gives the team so much versatility and flexibility in the pen. Now it looks like Rafael Soriano or a bullpen built from within.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)