NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — MLB says it’s too early to tell how overhauled relations between the U.S. and Cuba will affect the league.
President Barack Obama announced an end to an “outdated approach” on Wednesday, restoring diplomatic relations between the two nations.
“Major League Baseball is closely monitoring the White House’s announcement,” MLB said in a statement Wednesday.
Some of baseball’s top stars have defected from Cuba, including Los Angeles outfielder Yasiel Puig and reigning AL Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu.
But the road to MLB can be a dangerous one. Puig was reportedly held captive in Mexico after he was smuggled out of Cuba.
“While there are not sufficient details to make a realistic evaluation, we will continue to track this significant issue,” MLB said, “and we will keep our Clubs informed if this different direction may impact the manner in which they conduct business on issues related to Cuba.”
The U.S. withdrew diplomatic recognition of the Cuban government in January 1961. Because of the American trade embargo, a player who defected from Cuba has had to obtain a license from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control before he could sign with a major league organization.
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