Two Cuban Players Defect During Caribbean Series in San Juan

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 4, 2015

Above: shortstop Dainer Moreira

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Two players for Cuba’s Caribbean Series team have reportedly defected in Puerto Rico.

The players are shortstop Dainer Moreira and pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez.

Moreira was most recently with the Matanzas baseball club in Cuba, while Gutierrez had played with Pinar del Rio.

The Caribbean Series launched at Santurce’s Hiram Bithorn stadium on Monday; Cuba had lost its first two games of the tournament. Moreira and Gutierrez reportedly left their hotel after the second game.

They are the first defections of players from Cuba since the major rapprochement between the United States and Cuba in December.

Under recently-shifted regulations, Cuban players who have established residency in another country are eligible in the United States, without needing to be approved by the United States government’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

This was only the second year that Cuba had sent a team to the Caribbean Series in the modern era.

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