HAVANA TIMES, Mar 15 — Cuban baseball player Yoenis Cespedes said recently that he didn’t leave Cuba out of any hatred of Marxism or love for the United States, reported the Cubaencuentro website.
The center fielder for the Oakland A’s said that rather than for political reasons, he left the island due to the malaise that prevails throughout Cuban baseball, the national sport.
“Athletes (in Cuba) don’t receive the treatment they deserve; they don’t receive the salaries that they actually earn,” he explained.
“On the national team, they have A, B and C teams. I was a league leader in home runs, but they put me on the C team – the worst one,” said Cespedes. “That’s when I decided to leave (Cuba), though it took me fifteen days to decide,” he added.
Cespedes is currently the highest paid player with the Oakland Athletics (US $36 million for a four-year contract), where in his first Spring Training game he debuted with a home run, walk, single and 2 RBIs. However in the following two games he went hitless, as he learns to adapt to Major League pitching.