Cuba Loses Star Baseball Player Jose Dariel Abreu

Jose Dariel Abreu in his Cienfuegos uniform.
Jose Dariel Abreu in his Cienfuegos uniform. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — Of the many Cuban baseball players clandestinely leaving the island in recent times, the defection announced this week of the power hitting first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu, 26, will be hard felt on the Cuban national team and league.

Abreu played for Cienfuegos in the Cuban league and when declared a free agent by Major League Baseball could be in line for a big payday, possibly more than the US $42 million contract signed by the younger Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Puig also played for Cienfuegos.

“Pito” Abreu reportedly left Cuba en route to Haiti and later crossed into the Dominican Republic, a country, along with Mexico, that several Cuban ballplayers have used as a trampoline to get to the USA and the Major Leagues.

Abreu was highly touted by scouts at the World Baseball Classic in March 2013, where he hit .360, smashed three homers and drove in nine runs for Team Cuba. He is considered an even better hitter than Yoennis Cespedes, in his second year with Oakland, and Puig the rookie sensation at L.A.


7 thoughts on “Cuba Loses Star Baseball Player Jose Dariel Abreu

  • Who or what has he betrayed? He has not sold state secrets, nor delivered military strategy to an enemy. Are you serious? Sadly, I think you are. He is a baseball player and apparently a very talented one. Doesn’t he deserve the chance to show his talent on a bigger stage? Please tell me why you are so hard on this young man.

  • Yes i can begrudge any traitor He is not fit to be called Cuban

  • All of these recent ball player defections have occurred during travel to tournaments in other countries. But I guess you need the myth of Yanqui speedboats to shore up your solidarity with the Castro’s prison island.

  • Is there much difference between the continued departure of top talent from the Cuban teams and the pre-Revolutionary departure of such talent from the old Havana Sugar Kings? The main difference seems to be that pre-1959 talent found it easier to depart Cuba on regularly scheduled flights to Miami or New York, whereas currently it is by covert speed boats ($4,000+ a trip, usually paid for by U.S. major leagues themselves, or talent scouts hoping to cash in on Cuban players).

  • A list of Cuban born players currently playing in the MLB:

    Yonder Alonso: 1st base, San Diego Padres.
    Yuniesky Betancourt: 2nd base, Milwaukee Brewers.
    Francisley Bueno: pitcher, Kansas City Royals
    Yoenis Céspedes: outfielder, Oakland Athletics
    Aroldis Chapman: pitcher, Cincinnati
    Yunel Escobar: shortstop, Tampa Bay Rays
    Yasmani Grandal: catcher, San Diego Padres
    Adeiny Hechavarria: infielder, Miami Marlins
    Jose Iglesias: infielder, Detroit Tigers
    Leonys Martín: outfileder, Texas Rangers
    Kendrys Morales: 1st base, Seattle Mariners
    Brayan Peña: catcher, Detroit Tigers
    Yasiel Puig: outfielder, LA Dodgers
    Alexei Ramírez: shortstop, Chicago White Sox
    Eddy Rodriguez: catcher, San Diego Padres
    Gaby Sánchez: 1st base, Pittsburg Pirates
    Raúl Valdés: pitcher, Philadelphia Phillies
    Dayán Viciedo: left field, Chicago White Sox
    Henry Urrutia: outfield, Baltimore Orioles
    Jose Hernandez: pitcher, Miami Marlins

    Put them all together, and the Cubans could field a pretty good team in the MLB!

  • Continue to justify? …they can’t! It’s always been about Castro, not the people. I hope those party goers had lots of rum to wash down the cake with!

  • Can anyone begrudge this young man the opportunity to live out his professional dream to play baseball at the highest level? When a Venezuelan, or Japanese or Dominican player among others, is able to play for a MLB team does his country “lose” a player or gain yet another source of national pride and multimillionaire athlete. Castros’ Cuba prevents this young man from returning to Cuba to visit his family and friends for at least the next 8 years. Why? LA Dodger and recent ‘escapee” Yasiel Puig has set the Nationl League on fire this summer and it is Cuba’s loss to prevent his fan base in Cuba from enjoying his success up close. While sycophants choke down birthday cake, I wonder how they continue to justify Fidel selfish edict to punish these talented athletes.

Comments are closed.