Tuesday, January 27, 2015
INTERESTING TWIST IN THE YOAN MONCADA SWEEPSTAKES
If you remember from BYB's past posts on Yoan Moncada, the biggest reason why the Yankees, or even the Red Sox haven't made a hard push to sign the 19 year old Cuban stud wasn't because they didn't want to... it was because they couldn't. The reason? Well, as Hardball Talk has stated numerous times, "he has not received official clearance from the United States’ Office of Foreign Assets Control and won’t be able to start negotiating with teams until he gets that clearance."
Or so we thought.
Today, Ben Badler of Baseball America wrote this, which I found very interesting:
"Major League Baseball, not the United States government, is the reason that Yoan Moncada and several other Cuban players have yet to begin their careers.
The U.S. has an embargo against Cuba, which means Cuban nationals must be regarded as “unblocked” by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before they can work for a U.S. company.
Moncada, though, has already met the government’s requirements to be able to begin his career. Moncada has permanent residence in Guatemala. Any Cuban national who presents documents showing permanent residence in a country outside of Cuba qualifies for OFAC’s “general license,” which is not a written document. As far as OFAC is concerned, that should make him unblocked, and that’s good enough for the government to allow him to sign...at some point in 2012 after Puig signed in June that year, MLB no longer allowed Cuban players to sign using the general license and instead required them to apply for the specific license, which is a written document from OFAC. That goes beyond what the government requires from Cuban players to be able to begin their careers, and with some players waiting six months to receive their licenses..."
And so now, we wait until this whole mess is straightened out, I guess.
We'll continue to follow this story about Yoan Moncada. It's very interesting.
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