Several Cuban news outlets announced the Cuban Baseball Federation has received the permission of the US government to use Cuban-born MLB players during the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
Since Cuban baseball in general is deteriorating, partially due to many players trying to go after an MLB career, this is big news for the FCB.
According to beisbolencuba.com, the Cuban Federation already appointed two MLB players to join the Cuban national team. Andy Ibáñez and Yoan López will be part of Cuba’s preselection for WBC 2023. These players are joined by Yoenis Céspedes (former New York Mets), Onelki García, a player with experience in the MLB who spent two seasons in the Major Leagues and is currently in LIDOM with the Águilas Cibaeñas, and Elián Leyva (Naranjeros de Hermosillo, Mexican League).
But these are not the only Cuban MLB players that will/may join the Cuban national team. Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada, starting players for MLB’s Chicago White Sox, have supposedly accepted the call of the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB). Of course, the Cubans need permission of their MLB club to participate in the international toy of MLB.
This would be the first time in the history of the World Baseball Classic that Cuban MLB players are allowed to participate in this tournament. In the past, the Cuban Baseball Federation refused to make use of these players, as they were regarded as defectors.
Cuba will be part of Group A of the WBC 2023, which will be held in Taiwan, and will face China, Taipei, the Netherlands, Italy and Panama.The Caribbean team is expected to play its first match against the Netherlands on March 8.
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