Cuban Pitcher Misael Siverio Defects

Another Cuban pitcher is attempting to make the leap to Major League Baseball.  Misael Siverio, a 24-year-old lefty, was in Des Moines, Iowa Tuesday in advance of exhibition games against United States colleges, and he left the team hotel to pursue the Major League dream, according to Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald.

"It is not easy leaving behind what is yours, but after a giving it a lot of thought I made this decision for my future and for my family.  My dream, of course, is to make the Major Leagues, and starting today I will start doing what I need to do to accomplish that," Siverio told Ebro in Spanish.

Given his age, it appears Siverio will not be subject to the international signing restrictions established in the collective barganing agreement.  He also has to have played a minimum of three professional seasons in a Cuban professional league, which seems likely.  Most Cuban defectors establish residency in countries other than the U.S., to avoid being subject to MLB's amateur draft.  So while Siverio defected in Iowa, we'll have to see if he will be headed back out of the country in the name of being declared an MLB free agent.

A couple of Cuban pitchers have already been declared free agents: Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Dalier Hinojosa.  Gonzalez will sign first, tweets MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.  Another Cuban pitcher, Odrisamer Despaigne, doesn't appear to be a free agent yet.


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