The Cuban World Baseball Classic team was hoping to be able to use major league players as part of their roster. That quest got a little easier on Saturday.
According to Francys Romero, Cuban players who are United States residents are being granted a special license to join their WBC roster. Such a move would make a drastic impact upon their chances in the tournament.
Cuban World Baseball Classic squad could get major influx of talent
This move could make the biggest difference on the pitching side. While Cuba had a great deal of major league talent on the rubber, that is no longer the case over the past few years as defections have taken their toll. That was particularly notable when the Cuban national team failed to qualify for the Olympics in 2020.
But help could be coming. Nestor Cortes Jr. would be able to front the Cuban rotation under this agreement. Cionel Perez could join the bullpen and add more firepower to the pitching staff. Other players with Cuban descendants but are American citizens, such as Eric Hosmer, Lance McCullers Jr., and Carlos Rodon could join the team. Cuba could be a force to be reckoned with once again.
Ultimately, it will be a matter of whether or not the Cuban team extends an invitation to these players. They would also have to accept the invite to join the roster. However, it is a possible step in the right direction and one that could allow Cuba to be a factor once again in international competition.
The Cuban World Baseball Classic squad may get a major boost to their chances. United States residents of Cuban descent can join the roster if they want.