Badler: MLB slowing down signing process for Cuban players

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Via Ben Badler: At some point late last year, MLB implemented a rule change that will slow down the signing process for Cuban players, possibly by as much as six months. Rather than a general unblocking license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is not a written document and did not require the player to submit anything, they now need a specific license to sign. The new license requires a written application and an individual response.

“We are doing our best to quickly process license applications and it is our goal to respond in a timely manner,” said Jeff Braunger, the program manager at OFAC. MLB changed the requirement because of concerns about how some players were able to gain residency in a foreign country after defecting. Yasiel Puig gained residency in Mexico the same month he defected while current Yankees farmhand Omar Luis gained residency in Haiti despite living and working out in the Dominican Republic. It’s the right move on MLB’s part given the legal issues but it will drag out the signing process and delay the start of these players’ careers. Not that the Yankees pursue big money Cuban players or anything.

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  • Robinson Tilapia

    Didn’t see the zinger at the end coming.

  • pat

    Waaah. 4 million isn’t enough. I want ALL the Cubans.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      No you don’t. Our women are pains in the butt and make you spend every Sunday at their parents’ house.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

      I want good, young players to build around.
      I don’t care where they come from.

    • Tomaconda

      Are you talking cigars or people.

    • Now Batting

      The $4 million is only for amateur free agents.

  • John C

    They DID make a substantial bid on Jorge Soler but the Cubs simply blew everyone out of the water with a 9 year offer. Hard to fault them on that. They didn’t pursue guys like Chapman, Cespedes or Puig for whatever reasons. I just hope they learn from their mistakes and change their apporach on these players since we are seeing more teams lock up their good players before they get to free agency now.

    • Roadgeek Adam

      Honestly, of that group, I’d only pursue Yoenis the Menace. At some point Chapman is going to blow out that arm (can’t throw 99-104 every day…).

      Puig, I want a full season out of first.

      • Now Batting

        What burns me more than the players missed out on is the organization’s philosophy of voluntarily eliminating their biggest competitive advantage.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Didn’t they put in offers of several of them? Hard to remember at this point.

      I can only expect them to do their due diligence and bid competitively when they feel the player is worth it. Expecting them to get the winning bid is something beyond anyone’s control unless our expectation is that they’re going to blow everyone out of the water every time. That sounds like a worse business plan to me.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    If it’s good enough for the government to let these players sign, it should be good enough for MLB.