Say it ain't so, Mr. Commissioner
Major-league organizations are always looking for pitching. Therefore, it's no surprise that they are looking at the pitching talent down in communist Cuba. As I've been told, there are many hard-throwing young pitchers playing ball down in the island.
Over the years, the MLB has required these players to defect, and then they are signed by a team. I'm talking about Jose Abreu, Aroldis Chapman, and Yoenis Cespedes, to a few more.
According to the Los Angeles Times, baseball wants to change directions:
Major League Baseball presented a proposal that would allow clubs to sign players out of Cuba beginning next year, rather than forcing them to first defect from the country and establish residency elsewhere, to teams at the winter meetings in Las Vegas last week, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
The plan, which resembles the posting system for Japanese players, stipulated major league teams would pay 25% of a player's minor league bonus or 15% to 20% of the total guaranteed value in a major league deal to the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) as a release fee, possibly in addition to other fees, none of which would count against clubs' international amateur bonus pool money.
The Cuban Baseball Federation?
On one hand, I can understand that Cuban players want to play in the U.S. Who wouldn't want to play here? They are competitors who want to compete with the best.
On the other hand, the Cuban Baseball Federation is not the MLB, an organization independent of government, or a private Japanese baseball team.
Back in 2012, the Texas Rangers paid a fee to sign Yu Darvish. It was a business transaction between two private organizations in two countries run by the rule of law. Furthermore, Darvish benefited financially from the transaction. Yu never won a postseason game down here, but he did okay financially. And his family was not forced to stay in Japan during the season.
We hope the MLB players union rejects the deal. I'm sure they will hear from their Cuban members who have always opposed helping the regime.
What's the best way to bring all that young pitching in Cuba to the majors? Let's have regime change on the island, and everyone wins.