Cuba Slugger Frederich Cepeda Signs for $1.5 million with Yomiuri Giants

Ray Otero  (

Frederich Cepeda. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — Frederich Cepeda, one of the best hitters in Cuban baseball, will play this coming season in the Nippon Professional League in Japan, which just announced his signing for one season with the Yomiuri Giants in a monetary settlement of $1.5 million dollars.

Cepeda, who just turned 34, batted .292/.484/.536 during the recently concluded its 2013-2014 season in Cuban, playing for his native Sancti Spiritus and later Artemisa when Sancti Spiritus was eliminated.

The switch hitting outfielder and DH was the league leader in walks (100) and OBP while he finished fourth in slugging pct. and third in homers with 13 for the 87 game season.

Cepeda, who is one of the most disciplined hitters of current Cuban baseball, is a batter that produces with power and average in any area of the batter’s box. Furthermore, he has been a veteran of the Cuban national team for the last 12 years. During

During that period Cepeda was on the winning Cuban teams at the World Cup in 2003 and 2005, the 2004 Athens Olympics, the Intercontinental Cups of 2006 and 2010 as well as runner-up efforts in the World Cups of 2007, 2009 and 2011, the 2008 Bejing Olympics and the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Cepeda also played on Cuba’s 2009 and 2013 World Classic Baseball squads.

The announcement of Cepeda to play in Japan comes after the release of Cuban baseball players to sign contracts in foreign leagues in the off season from Cuban league play, approved by the Cuban Baseball Federation.

Cepeda is the second Cuban, after the experiment of Omar Linares in 2002, to sign a contract in Japan. Talk has it that his ex-teammate in Sancti Spiritus, third basemanYulieski Gourriel, will also be signing to play in Japan.

3 thoughts on “Cuba Slugger Frederich Cepeda Signs for $1.5 million with Yomiuri Giants

  • Slightly off topic, but related to Cuban baseball:

    There have been reports recently about the Cuban slugger, Yasiel Puig and how he managed to escape Cuba. The details include Miami gangsters and a Mexican drug cartel, the stuff of crime thrillers.

    “Yasiel Puig’s experience inspires Florida lawmakers to pressure MLB on its Cuban player policy”

    “Reps. Jose Felix Diaz and Matt Gaetz are filing an amendment to a stadium funding bill that would require the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays demand Major League Baseball change its Cuban player policy if they want state money for stadium construction or renovations . . . The amendment would also require the Florida teams demand Major League Baseball report any information they have on Floridians involved in human trafficking or smuggling of Cuban players to the state attorney general.”

    As Peter Bjarkman has written in his columns at HT and at, in addition to barriers thrown up by the Cuban government, the US embargo & the MLB’s own rules make it very difficult for Cuban baseball players to leave Cuba to play in the US majors, and as a consequence leave them prey to unscrupulous middlemen and gangsters.

  • Here’s a question, what would be the total amount Mr. Cepeda takes home after Cuban and Japanese taxes? I believe that tax rate in the US is in excess of 35% with that amount of income. It’s an enormous amount of money with regards to Cuban standard of pay. Probably the highest of any Cuban?

  • I wonder if Jiminez would go to Japan

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