14ymedio, Havana, October 3, 2021 — The pitcher from Santiago, Uber Mejías, is now in the United States, having “crossed the frontier and requested political asylum”, according to information from the journalist Francys Romero. “He will shortly start the documentation process to become a free agent”.
Mejías was the second baseball player, in this outflow of 11 as of now, from Eriel Sánchez’ team, which took part in the sub-23 World Baseball Championship. He walked out on 23rd September from the team hotel located in Ciudad Obregón, in the Mexican state of Sonora.
The young man was with Loidel Chapellí Jr. as Cuban team members in the World events sub-15, sub-18 and sub-23. In preparing for the tournament in Mexico he sent funds in the range of 90 – 92 thousand. “The righthander is one of the most interesting Cuban prospects for the MLB (Major League Baseball) scouts“, Romero emphasised.
The Cuban rising stars deserted without documentation. Their options are limited to “wait in Mexico and follow the process for free agency, or ask for asylum at the US frontier”. Mejías opted for the second, “although we have no exact confirmation, he is the first baseball player (at least as far as we know) to enter US territory”, according to the journalist.
Among these stories is that of the pitcher Dariel Fernández, another of the baseball players who deserted, and, from what we know, got into contact with the representative Carlos Pérez, the Havana agent based in Miami who has a wide range of Cuban baseball players in the Big Leagues, including Raúl Valdés, Edwin Rios, Tyron Guerrero and Yandy Díaz.
News broke on Saturday that, with the desertion of Loidel Chapelli Jr, 19 years old, Yandi Yanes, 23, Bryan Chi, 22 and Miguel Antonio Gonzalez, 21, a total of 11 baseball players have broken away from the Cuban team in Hermosillo, Mexico.
Before the pitchers Yeinel Zayas, Luis Dennys Morales, Uber Mejias, Dariel Fernandez, there were also the catcher Loidel Rodriguez, the outfielder Reinaldo Lazaga, and Diasmany Palacios, the infielder.
Meanwhile, on the island, the sports authorities have insisted on blaming the United States for the sports stars’ escape. The National Institute for Physical and Educational Sport (Inder) last Sunday accused the blocking of the agreement between the Cuban Baseball Federation and the Major League Baseball of stimulating “the traffic of athletes for political reasons”.
Translated by GH
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.