The Cuban Government Lifts Restrictions On Athletes Playing Abroad, Puig Dresses Up Like Gumby
You wonder if the move by the Cuban government to allow players to leave the country to find employment in foreign leagues has anything to do with their distaste for eccentric, young, gumby costume-wearing, lightning rod-type guys like Puig in their own national league.
It doesn't. No one turns down a five-tool athlete who bats .325 with 19 home runs and 11 stolen bases. (For the record, the costume was part of some team imposed rookie hazing, so don't go thinking Puig is a furry or something.)
[Via The Associated Press] Cuba announced Friday that its athletes will be allowed to sign contracts to compete in foreign leagues, a shift from decades of policy that held professional sports to be anathema to socialist ideals.
So there you have it. The doors are open. MLB franchises can dive into the imagined bottomless pit of young baseball talent on the island of 12 million people starting today. Guys like Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, and Aroldis Chapman will flood your favorite team and put them over the top for a decade of a Postseason berths and World Series Championships and...wait, they still can't come here?
Cuban athletes will have to pay taxes on any earnings from foreign clubs, and the 51-year-old U.S. embargo outlaws nearly all American transactions with the Cuban government...Even if Cubans have trouble playing in the Major Leagues, it's easy to envision ballplayers playing in Mexico, Japan, Venezuela or other countries during their off-season, something that has happened before in isolated instances.
Ok, that kinda sucks, but let's be honest, if you unlock the door, people are gonna come into your house. Especially when you consider the rather large salary increase that comes with bouncing to play for, oh let's say, the L.A. Dodgers. Let's take a quick look into what that pay discrepancy looks like:
Yasiel Puig: Seven years, $42 million
Cuban Baseball Players: $41 a month, with and additional $20 if you are a batting champ, $208 if you play in at least 70% of games, and $2,700 for winning the Cuban equivalent of the World Series (split amongst the team, mind you).
That works out to a 2438924% pay increase.
Ya, I'll take option A, please. Thank you. See you never, Cuba!
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