Reports from Cuba: Baseball player Yasiel Gonzales gives up $17 salary in Cuba for opportunity in Dominican Republic

14yMedio reports from Havana via Translating Cuba:

Baseball Player Yasiel Gonzalez Leaves a Salary of 17 Dollars in Cuba for an Opportunity in the Dominican Republic

It’s been three months since Yasiel González left the Holguín team.

Baseball player Yasiel González, who three months ago left the National Series due to low salaries, is now looking for opportunities to enter the Major Leagues from the Dominican Republic.

The current salary of the players is not enough “to cover all the athletes’ needs,” said Francys Romero, journalist and sports commentator, on his social networks.

González, who played as an outfielder for the Holguín team, has no “restrictions,” so he will be able to sign with any team that is willing to negotiate according to his terms, the journalist said.

The players of the National Series receive an average of 3,500 Cuban pesos (about 17 dollars at the current informal exchange rate), in a country where the minimum wage is 2,100 pesos per month (less than 11 dollars).

The salary schedule that dates from 2020 for players on the Island depends on their category. A member of the national pre-selection who participates in the National Series receives 3,725 Cuban pesos (19 dollars) per month; while a player of the National Pre-Selection Reserve and National Series receives 2,400 ( $12), according to Play-Off Magazine.

González, with six seasons in his career, was among the group of athletes who subsist on less than $17 a month, with some extras obtained from products they receive as part of their diet.

The baseball player “has an excellent physique that will impress talent evaluators in the Dominican Republic,” said Francys Romero. He also recalled that González’s best campaign with the Holguín team was in the 2021-2022 season.

The Dominican Republic is one of the countries that has served as a springboard for exiled Cuban athletes. Last Friday, Lisbel Díaz, a 17-year-old baseball player who left the Island last year, signed a contract with the San Francisco Giants.

Díaz’s professional development will be carried out at the Rookie level of the Dominican Summer League, where 29 other Cuban players are being monitored by Major League teams. Among the athletes are Anthony Scull, Dariam Gutiérrez and Sadiel Baró.

The flight of players, along with the lack of bats and balls, has plunged Cuban baseball into a crisis. Prior to the postseason of the 62nd National Baseball Series, Alexis Miguel Varona and Lázaro Viciedo also resigned from the Sancti Spíritus team.

Translated by Regina Anavy

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