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MLB releases statement on state of U.S./Cuba relations

With the White House announcing that efforts will be made to restore diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, MLB has released a statement on that issue

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

MLB has released a statement today relating to the announcement that the White House will be working to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.

The statement is basically, we're going to wait and see what happens, but given the talent currently in Cuba (and that has come to the U.S. from Cuba in recent years), I have no doubt that, should relations between the countries get to the point where MLB can make inroads there, teams will end up flocking to the island, much like they have in the Dominican Republic.

There is a prominent baseball league in Cuba, but players have generally been able to play for MLB teams if they defect.  There have been some awful stories about players essentially being held hostage by middlemen once they defect, with Ranger outfielder Leonys Martin's case being one of the more horrific ones.

MLB teams want to tap into the talent available in Cuba, and to this point, have basically had to tolerate the unpleasantness that goes on behind the scenes with the defectors.  Hopefully, this will pave the way for Cuban players to be able to play in the majors without having to go through experiences like Leonys's.