Lawmakers seek change in MLB Cuban player policy - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Lawmakers seek change in MLB Cuban player policy

Posted: Updated:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Two Florida lawmakers motivated by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig's dangerous escape from Cuba are trying to change the way Major League Baseball treats Cuban players and are willing to tie state money for stadiums to the issue.

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.

"We are enlisting the Marlins and Rays in our fight against the human traffickers and smugglers," said Gaetz, R-Shalimar.

Other foreign players can negotiate with all 30 baseball teams before signing a contract, but if Cuban players come directly to the United States, they are subject to the amateur draft, potentially costing them tens of millions of dollars. Teams aren't allowed to negotiate with Cuban players if they remain in Cuba.

That leads to a situation's like Puig's. Instead of coming straight to the United States, Puig and other players have established residency in other countries first to protect their free agent status.

Details of Puig's escape from Cuba were revealed recently in a lawsuit that described a dangerous journey, dealings with shady characters and Puig and a Cuban boxer being held hostage over unpaid smuggling debts. Puig, boxer Yunior Despaigne and their families have continued to receive death threats and one of the men who smuggled them out of Cuba was shot dead in Mexico, according to a story first reported in Los Angeles Magazine.

"They cannot continue to ignore the reality of their poorly crafted rules," said Diaz, R-Miami. "This bill really is about equity. Cubans should not be treated differently than any other Caribbean, South American or Central American players."

The lawmakers hope to attach their language to a bill waiting for a House vote that creates a pool of state funds for professional stadium renovations and construction. 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.

"It's pretty clear that the unintended consequence of Major League Baseball's draft rules -- it has empowered cartels and human smugglers and Florida is right in the middle of it," said Gaetz.

------

Follow Brendan Farrington on Twitter: http://twitter.com/bsfarrington

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • On Deco DriveMore>>

  • Hercules

    Hercules

    Monday, July 21 2014 8:20 PM EDT2014-07-22 00:20:40 GMT
    You know what they say about a man that has a big foot and long hair? Yeah, that they would make a really good Hercules. And while Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock has big feet, well he needed a little help in the hair department. Tonight The Rock is talking about how he became Hercules; everything from his feet, hair and to that fabulous body.
    You know what they say about a man that has a big foot and long hair? Yeah, that they would make a really good Hercules. And while Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock has big feet, well he needed a little help in the hair department. Tonight The Rock is talking about how he became Hercules; everything from his feet, hair and to that fabulous body.
  • Planes: Fire & Rescue - Toying with the Audience

    Planes: Fire & Rescue - Toying with the Audience

    Monday, July 21 2014 8:19 PM EDT2014-07-22 00:19:35 GMT
    Dane CookDane Cook
    Being a hero isn't easy. Just ask the cast of "Planes: Fire and Rescue." We did. Check it out.
    Being a hero isn't easy. Just ask the cast of "Planes: Fire and Rescue." We did. Check it out.
  • Keith Lorren

    Keith Lorren

    Friday, July 18 2014 9:53 PM EDT2014-07-19 01:53:29 GMT
    Combine a game show, a SoFlo chef and a race against the clock and what do you get? A good meal and a good show. There's a local chef who winning over Deco and he get's a chance to win over a national audience soon.
    Combine a game show, a SoFlo chef and a race against the clock and what do you get? A good meal and a good show. There's a local chef who winning over Deco and he get's a chance to win over a national audience soon.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Cooler weather aids crews fighting Washington fire

    Cooler weather aids crews fighting Washington fire

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:41 AM EDT2014-07-22 14:41:34 GMT
    Firefighters and local authorities are heartened by weather forecasts that call for continued cooler temperatures and higher humidity as they battle a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles...
    Firefighters and local authorities are heartened by weather forecasts that call for cooler temperatures and higher humidity as they battle a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles in Washington...
  • Man accused of enslaving woman to be sentenced

    Man accused of enslaving woman to be sentenced

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:32 AM EDT2014-07-22 14:32:43 GMT
    A man accused of enslaving a mentally disabled woman in northeast Ohio is set to be sentenced in federal court in Youngstown.
    A man accused of enslaving a mentally disabled woman in northeast Ohio could receive life in prison when he's sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Youngstown.
  • Egypt calls for Israeli, Palestinian peace talks

    Egypt calls for Israeli, Palestinian peace talks

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:43 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:43:40 GMT
    The U.S. and Egypt sought Tuesday to find an end to two weeks of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, and officials raised the possibility of restarting stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities as a...
    The U.S. and Egypt sought Tuesday to find an end to two weeks of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, and officials raised the possibility of restarting stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities as a necessary...
Powered by WorldNow

WSVN-TV
Sunbeam Television Corp
1401 79th Street Causeway
Miami, FL 33141

Switchboard: (305) 751-6692
Newsroom: (305) 795-2777

Can't find something?
Connect with us here:
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSVN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.