Trump administration ends MLB/Cuba baseball deal


HAVANA, CUBA – MARCH 22: Members of the Cuban national baseball team wait int he dugout with children before the start of an exhibition game against the Major League Baseball team Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the Estado Latinoamericano March 22, 2016 in Havana, Cuba. Cuban President Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama attended […]

The Trump administration is moving to end a deal allowing Cuban baseball players to sign contracts directly with Major League Baseball organizations, a change that appears to once again require Cuban players to cut ties with their national program before signing with MLB.

The Treasury Department told MLB attorneys in a letter Friday that it was reversing an Obama administration rule allowing the major leagues to pay the Cuban Baseball Federation a release fee equal to a percentage of each Cuban player’s signing bonus. The letter was made public Monday afternoon.

By barring the payments, it appears to make the deal unworkable. The Cuban federation had agreed to release all players 25 and older with at least six years of professional experience.

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