Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cuban baseball player Yasmani Tomas defects

Posted on Friday, 06.20.14

Cuban baseball player Yasmani Tomas defects

HAVANA -- Hard-hitting outfielder Yasmani Tomas of Havana's powerhouse
ballclub Industriales has defected, Cuban authorities said Friday.

News of Tomas' defection came in a single paragraph at the end of an
article in Communist Party newspaper Granma, which interviewed national
baseball director Higinil Velez Carrion about two games next month
against a visiting U.S. collegian team.

"From the same source, Granma learned of the departure from the country,
through unscrupulous, illegal human trafficking, of he who was a player
for the Industriales team, Yasmani Tomas," the article read.

According to official statistics, Tomas hit .275 for Industriales last
season with 10 home runs and 59 RBIs in the 90-game regular season and
seven playoff games.

The website, which is hosted in Florida and is not
affiliated with the Cuban government, says he is "without doubt the
'slugger' of the team."

A number of Cuban baseball players have left their homeland over the
years, tempted by fame and fortune in Major League Baseball.

Recent high-profile defectors include Yasiel Puig, who signed with the
Los Angeles Dodgers for $42 million, and Jose Abreu, who landed a $68
million deal with the Chicago White Sox.

This year Cuba began letting active players sign temporary contracts to
compete overseas as long as they fulfill their domestic commitments as
well, partially reversing decades of prohibition against professional

With the full blessing of island authorities, stars Yulieski Gourriel
and Frederich Cepeda have inked deals worth a reported $980,000 and $1.5
million, respectively, to play in Japan during the Cuban baseball
league's summer-fall offseason.

Tomas, 23, has been playing for Industriales since 2008 and was part of
Cuba's national team at the third World Baseball Classic last year.

Source: HAVANA: Cuban baseball player Yasmani Tomas defects - Baseball
Wires - -

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