Flood of Cuban Players Continues
In October 2013, I wrote a post about how the trickle of Cuban players into the MLB system was becoming a flood. This is a trend that only seems to have grown since then.
I’ve noticed that a number of top talents from Cuba have defected in just the last few months. According to this article by Ben Badler of Baseball America, 19 year old Jorge Ona is the seventh of Baseball America’s top 20 Cuban prospects to have defected since BA put out their list in April. Will the last Cuban baseball player to leave Cuba kindly shut the door?
One has to wonder whether all these defections are merely the result of so many previous Cuban defectors making big money and achieving MLB success, or whether the Cuban government simply isn’t trying as hard as it once did to prevent its baseball players from leaving. With relations between the U.S. and Cuban governments having thawed tremendously in the last six months, the Cuban government may have realized that it makes more sense in the long run to let its top baseball talent leave in the hopes that the players will eventually bring some of the money they make in MLB back to Cuba.
In any event, it seems to be only a matter of time, possibly less than five years from today, before Cuban players are freely allowed to make themselves available to MLB teams. It this point, there doesn’t seem to be much the Cuban government could do about the flood of baseball talent out of the country even if it wanted to.