The Trump administration rejected a deal between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation that would’ve allowed Cuban-born players to sign with major-league teams without defecting, according to the.
A senior U.S. official said the existing deal was canceled because it was “based on (an) erroneous interpretation by the former Obama administration that the Cuban Baseball Federation was not part of Cuba’s communist government,” according to.
MLB, the players’ union, and the Cuban Baseball Federation reached the agreement in December.
The deal was modeled after the ones MLB has in place with leagues in Japan, South Korea, and China. There was hope it would help eliminate human trafficking involving Cuban players defecting to join MLB.
The Trump administration took issue with the agreement due to concerns that the Cuban government would profit from a U.S. business.
The agreement “would institutionalize a system by which a Cuban body garnishes the wages of hard-working athletes who simply seek to live and compete in a free society,” a senior administration official said in December, according to the.
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