Report: Trump Administration Rejects MLB, Cuban Baseball Agreement

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 24: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) The Seal of the President of the United States seen on the door of the US Presidential State Car prior to US President Barack Obama's departure from Stansted Airport after a four day visit to the UK, on April 24, 2016 in London, England. Mr Obama is to visit Hanover in Germany to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before returning to the US. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

On Friday, the Trump Administration reportedly rejected Major League Baseball’s Deal with the Cuban Baseball Federation that would have allowed players from Cuba to sign with MLB teams without defecting. Jeff Passan with ESPN was the first to share the report.

Trump Administration Rejects Cuban Baseball Agreement

Background

The United States has had an embargo against Cuba since March 14, 1958. Steps were taken by the Obama Administration to restore political relations and direct diplomacy between the two countries. Starting in 2008, President Obama continually loosened restrictions and the Cuban government was open to the idea of reforming the embargo. In 2014, Obama and Castro announced the restoration of full diplomatic ties between the two countries.

MLB Response

During this time, MLB  struck a deal during the off-season to streamline the process of getting Cubans to MLB teams. The purpose was to eliminate stories like that of Yasiel Puig. Puig escaped Cuba in the hands of black-market smugglers. He is not the first or only Cuban player to do this in order to get to America.

Now What?

This story and others were included in letters sent from MLB to the Trump Administration. The ruling cancels this deal, calling the trafficking of baseball players from Cuba to America “dangerous.” It appears Cuban players will continue to face an uphill battle in leaving the country and getting signed by MLB teams.

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