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MLB Cuba Deal

February 10, 2019

 

In the past, many MLB players from Cuba had to defect to the United States in order to play professional baseball. These players had to defect due to Cuba’s political environment where citizens are not allowed to move to another country. For many years Cuba has been ruled under a dictatorial regime which limited Cuban people’s rights. Cuban citizens were not allowed to leave the country unless they were specifically permitted to by their government. The strict regulations made traveling to the United States very hard for these baseball players. On top of their travel, the US and Cuba do not have a very stable relationship because of their differing styles of government. But recently, the two countries have been able to agree on something: baseball.

 

Baseball is the main sport in Cuba, and many Cubans play it at some point in their life. Many of the baseball players who come from Cuba decide to play professional baseball in the U.S. to escape their current financial situations at home, even if that means not being able to see their family. Lots of the MLB's top baseball players have defected from Cuba to the US, such as: Aroldis Chapman, Yasiel Puig, etc.. The MLB and Cuba reached an agreement in mid-December over this controversy. According to an ESPN article “Major League Baseball, its players' association and the Cuban Baseball Federation reached an agreement that will allow players from the island to sign big league contracts without defecting, an effort to eliminate the dangerous trafficking that had gone on for decades.” The Cubans decided to make this deal in order to protect its people from illegal trafficking and defection. Not only will these players finally be able to represent their country in baseball, but they will be able to see their families as well. It is unfair to the players that they must sacrifice their relationships and culture in order to make a better life for themselves and their families.

 

Beforehand, Cuban players had to undergo a large degree of mental stress to make their time as a professional worth the struggle to leave Cuba. But now that their is a deal between the MLB and Cuba, a lot mental stress has been taken off these players. Commissioner of the MLB Rob Manfred said "We believe that this agreement accomplishes that objective and will allow the next generation of Cuban players to pursue their dream without enduring many of the hardships experienced by current and former Cuban players who have played Major League Baseball." As a result, there will be a much less harsh environment for Cuban players and let them play the game with much more joy. The deal will also help Cuba which is already a cash poor country as the MLB will pay the Cuban Federation money for these players to come over to the United States. Furthermore, the MLB will pay a very high price to increase the quality of their baseball. In the end, this deal not only helps American baseball, but it aids the minds of these Cuban players, their families, their country, and their game.

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