MLBPA head: Future spring training games in Cuba possible
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark said Saturday that MLB is considering playing future spring training games in Cuba, reports the Associated Press.
Cuba last hosted American teams before Fidel Castro came to power, but Clark said discussions are "ongoing" about playing spring training games there after the United States and Cuba recently renewed diplomatic ties. Talks were held about having games in Cuba this spring, but time ran out.
''We weren't able to put those pieces in play this go-around,'' Clark said from the Cleveland Indians' spring training complex in Goodyear, Ariz. ''It is conceivable somewhere down the road that there may be a spring training game played in Cuba, but it's hard to tell when at this point in time.''
The Baltimore Orioles made a trip to Cuba for an exhibition game against the Cuban national team in 1999, ending what had been a 40-year gap since the previous visit by a major league team.
The renewed ties between the countries were on display earlier this month when top Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada signed with the Boston Red Sox. He became a free agent after the United States' changes in foreign policy allowed him to sign without having to obtain a specific unblocking license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Last season, 19 Cuban-born players were on major league rosters.
- Mike Fiammetta