The Cuban Baseball Federation Will Demand 10 Million Dollars From Yariel Rodriguez

After breaking with the Chunichi Dragons, Yariel Rodríguez is in the Dominican Republic seeking an agreement with the Major Leagues. (Dragons of Chunichi)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Madrid, 29 March 2023 — The reaction of the Cuban sports authorities to Yariel Rodríguez Yordi’s breakup with his Japanese team, Dragones de Chunichi, and the Cuban Baseball Federation itself (FCB) has not been long in coming. The organization will avail itself of a clause in the baseball player’s contract to demand 10 million dollars from the athlete.

In a statement released to the official press, the FCB alleges that its demands are those set forth in the agreement. “The athlete acknowledges and accepts that the fulfillment of this contract begins from the moment he leaves Cuba for Japan and ends on his return to Cuba. He also accepts that in case of breach of the contract on his part without justified cause, at the discretion of the Federation, he may not be hired by any other club or third parties without the express authorization of the Federation,” reads the baseball player’s contract.

According to the FCB, the text also made it clear that “in case of abandonment the FCB will require the figure of 10 million dollars for damages,” and the sports organization will demand the relevant “rights and responsibilities.”

In its statement, the FCB regrets the decision taken by the athlete, who according to journalist Francys Romero is in the Dominican Republic “seeking to be hired by some team from the Major Leagues” of the US. In Romero’s opinion, this “contradicts the efforts made for Yariel to develop in a high-level league like the Japanese one, and from there to support the Cuban national team.”

For the organization, his act “constitutes a serious failure to what was agreed for the period 2023-2024 between the Dragons, the athlete” and the Federation itself, which acted as his representative in the agreement.

Rodríguez was one of the players recognized by the Communist Party after being part of Team Asere, which achieved a fourth place in the World Classic, a great position if one takes into account that something similar has not been achieved for almost 20 years.

Francys Romero, who reported yesterday on the departure of the pitcher, stressed that “he will not be subject to the restrictions of international firms because he has been in international baseball for over 25 years and six seasons.” The reporter also noted that there are several players who have left the FCB after signing for Japanese teams.

“The organizations of the Professional League of Japan know that signing a Cuban through the Federation is always risky,” he continued. Rodríguez was preceded by pitchers Héctor Mendoza and Andy Rodríguez, and outfielders Adolis García and Oscar Colás.

The athlete, originally from Camagüey, was part of the list of the top 10 prospects of the World Baseball Classic, according to Baseball America, so Romero predicts that Rodríguez “will get a multi-year agreement for a figure in the millions,” and that “it would be in the range of 50 million dollars for five or six years.”

The specialized publication Swing Completo has also highlighted that “his talent and conditions could lead him to find an excellent agreement,” so the fine for failing to meet his commitment would not hurt the player.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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