FIRST AIRED: December 20, 2018

Nice work! Enjoy the show!


You’re busy. We get it.

Stay on top of the news with our Editor’s Picks newsletter.

US Edition
Intl. Edition
Unsubscribe at any time. One click, it’s gone.

Thanks for signing up!

We've got more news

Get our editor’s daily email summary of what’s going on in the world.

US Edition
Intl. Edition
Replay Program
More Info

COMING UP:Share Opener Variant 1



>> Cuba has produced some of baseball's top stars. Think Yasiel Puig or Yoenis Cespedes. Both arriving in the US, not just with a ton of talent, but also with harrowing stories of how they defected from Cuba. But on Wednesday, Major League Baseball and Cuba's Baseball Federation struck a historic deal.
For the first time making it legal for ball players from the communist-run island to sign with US teams without the need to defect. Under the agreement, which took three years to hammer out, MLB teams pay a release fee to a Cuban player's team. That player must be at least 25 years old and have played six years in the Cuban league.
Many baseball players in Cuba with a minimum salary that's $50 per month, have in the past had to rely on smugglers or human traffickers to get to the US. The most famous example being Puig, who defected on a speedboat at age 21. And soon found himself entangled with a Mexican crime organization which threatened to chop off his arm if he failed to pay a $250,000 fee for his passage.
White Sox slugger Jose Abreu, who also reportedly endured a dangerous journey from Cuba, hailed the deal as, quote, a realization of an impossible dream for all of us.