U.S. blocks deal for Major League Baseball to sign Cuban players


Cuba’s national youth baseball pitcher Oscar Hernandez warms up before a friendly game against Japan at the Latinoamericano stadium in Havana, Cuba, December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Monday blocked a historic agreement between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation that would have allowed Cuban players to sign with U.S. teams without needing to defect.

The existing deal will not be allowed to go forward because it was based on an erroneous interpretation by the former Obama administration that the Cuban baseball federation was not part of Cuba’s communist government, a senior U.S. official said.

Reporting by Matt Spetalnick, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

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