Aroldis Chapman returned to Cuba for the first time since defecting. 

By Chris Chavez
February 20, 2018

New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was allowed to travel to Cuba for the first time in more than eight years and he received a warm welcome in his hometown of Holguin during the off-season, according to ESPN's Marly Rivera.

In July 2009, Chapman defected from Cuba when he left the national team during a tournament in the Netherlands and headed to Amsterdam and Barcelona. He eventually landed in Andorra in the Pyrenees, where he established residency that allowed him to become a free agent under baseball's rules. He attempted to defect in 2008 and was unsuccessful so Cuba kept him off the 2008 Olympic team in Beijing. 

Watch Chapman make his return below:

Chapman is coming off a season in which he recorded 22 saves with a 3.22 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings. He turns 30 years old later this month.

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