MLB, MLBPA and Cuban Baseball Federation agree to new posting rules
Some big news on the international baseball market came out on an otherwise quiet Wednesday around the league. According to CiberCuba, MLB, the MLB Players Association and the Cuban Baseball Federation have agreed on a new system for posting players that come from the Caribbean island. MLB later confirmed the new deal. Cuba joins professional leagues in Japan, Korea and China that have agreed to posting rules with MLB. Under these new rules, any Cuban player who has played in the FCB for at least six years and is at least 25 years old will be considered a free agent and can sign with any major-league team. FCB clubs also have the option of releasing younger players for free agency as well. These players are now free to sign anywhere in the majors, and once they sign their old clubs get a portion of the contract as a fee.
This whole deal seems like a win-win for the league and for Cuban players. For the league, they have a more direct and less sketchy way to acquire some of the top talents in the world. There will also presumably be a deeper influx of talent available since players will no longer have to weigh whether or not making it to the majors is worth potentially never seeing family again and the generally traumatic journey that is undergone by Cuban baseball players. On the other side, well, the players don’t have to go through any of that again. Basically every Cuban baseball player has a horrifying tale of their trip out of Cuba to make it in the majors, usually involving harrowing trips and corrupt and dangerous smugglers. Look up the stories of Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes, among others, to see why players will like this deal. Now, they can apply for a work visa like any other international player and are free to travel back and forth between the States and Cuba.