ESPN is reporting that two Cuban baseball players have defected:
Right-hander Yadel Marti, Cuba’s best pitcher in the first World Baseball Classic in 2006, and outfielder Yasser Gomez left the island and are in an unknown location before attempting to reach the Dominican Republic to seek an MLB career, sources told ESPNdeportes.com.
Players’ relatives and friends in Cuba confirmed their departure, without disclosing details of the planned route.
Marti and Gomez, members of the popular team Industriales de la Habana, were kicked off the team’s payroll for the current National Series tournament “for having committed a serious [infraction],” according to the Cuban baseball authorities.
Sources informed ESPNdeportes.com last month that Marti and Gomez were punished and banned from Cuban baseball after being caught with others while trying to board a boat to leave the country illegally.