Last year, the Major League Secretariat received a proposal from the ACPBP and the ‘Cuba Professional Baseball Players Association’ to “enable a team made up of exiled players from Cuba to compete in the WBC.” Since the event is not hosted by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) like the Olympics, the logic was that an entity other than the Cuban Baseball Association could form the national team.
ACPBP was created mainly by exiled athletes from Cuba. Cuba has never accepted exiled players into its national team. Only players who went abroad with the permission of the country were given the national team qualifications. However, as the power outflow due to exile continued every year, the power gradually weakened. Eventually, at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, they failed to advance to the finals. The honor of the country with the most Olympic gold medals has fallen to the ground.
Still, Cuban players are still showing their presence in the major leagues. Aroldis Chapman (Kansas City), Nestor Cortés (Yankees), Randy Arosarena (Tampa Bay), Jordan Alvarez (Houston), and Jose Abreu (Houston) were born in Cuba.
However, the Major League Secretariat ultimately did not accept the ACPBP proposal and sided with the Cuban Baseball Association.
Instead, the Cuban Baseball Association opened. In November of last year, media reports revealed that White Sox Lewis Robert and Yoann Moncada were on the 50-man interest list. Infielder Andy Ibanez (Detroit), pitcher Yoan Lopez (Mets), outfielder Yasmani Thomas (former Arizona) and infielder Miguel Vargas (Dodgers) are also on the list of interest.
As diplomatic issues between Cuba and the United States were resolved, expectations for the “Cuban Dream Team” increased. However, most of the Cuban stars were missing from the list of 50 players announced by the Cuban Baseball Association. This is because, although they said they would open the door to exiled players, they added a condition that ‘exiled players are not accepted during international competitions’. 안전놀이터
Some players have already made decisions prior to the decision of the Cuban Baseball Association. Arosarena plays for the Mexico national team in her country of exile, while Cortés, who is a US citizen, has decided to join the US national team. There was no reversal.
In the final list of 30 players released on the 25th, former and current major leaguers and Japanese professional baseball players stand out. However, the ‘Dream Team’ could not be made as much as expected. In addition to Robert and Moncada, former Mets Yoenis Cespedes, Detroit infielder Andy Ibanez, Oakland pitcher Luis Romero and Kansas City pitcher Rolando Bolaños will wear Cuba’s uniforms.
Cuba is in Group A along with Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, Italy and Panama. If they advance to the second round, they will compete against Group B countries, which include Korea, for tickets to Miami.