Two top Cuban baseball players have defected to the US so they can sign major league baseball contracts. We don’t know what ICE will give them for a visa status, but it could be H1B.
Heriberto Suarez Pereda, commissioner of baseball in Cuba, confirmed the defections to WRAL. He said that while it is a huge loss for the team in terms of talent, it is also a very personal decision for the players.
Third baseman Luis Yander La O and outfielder Yadiel Hernandez each left the team while on tour in the United States in preparation for the Pan Am Games in Toronto.
The 25-year-old La O batted .329 in the Cuban league last season for Santiago. Hernandez is a 28-year-old who averaged .355 for Matanzas in 2014-15.
At least they’re not IT guys replacing US IT employees at Disney. And they won’t be working for minimum wage.
This is a lesson less about baseball, the free market will determine whether the players made the right decision, than it is about socialism. Top talent leaves.
Cuban baseball players can now seek to be released from their local clubs, with the national federation deciding whether they are needed for the national team.
In other words, get permission from the government to pursue your dreams. It’s our guess that even if their baseball careers flop these two players will believe they’ve made the best decision of their young lives.