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View Full Version : The strange case of Yuniesky Betancourt



savafan
12-14-2006, 10:37 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/baseball/mlb/12/13/bc.bbo.playersmuggling.ap/index.html


Betancourt and another Cuban baseball player, Zaydel Beltran, were among a group of Cubans smuggled to the United States by boat on Dec. 4, 2003, and then driven to Los Angeles, according to documents filed this week in the case against agent Gustavo "Gus" Dominguez and five other defendants.


The Cuban players eventually became free agents and Betancourt reached an agreement in April 2004 to play with the Mariners, the documents say. Dominguez had told Major League Baseball officials that both players had previously fled Cuba for Mexico, where they had purportedly established residence and obtained Mexican passports.

In this case, shouldn't Betancourt have had to enter the draft rather than be a free-agent? Isn't that what happens to players who come directly to the US?

KoryMac5
12-14-2006, 01:56 PM
Found this on basebal fever website should answer your question.

Cubans aren't U.S. residents for at least 366 days after arrival; a period of time in which the U.S. gov't considers them foreigners and during which any Cuban would have more than enough time to hold workouts and sign a contract.

savafan
12-14-2006, 01:57 PM
Found this on basebal fever website should answer your question.

Cubans aren't U.S. residents for at least 366 days after arrival; a period of time in which the U.S. gov't considers them foreigners and during which any Cuban would have more than enough time to hold workouts and sign a contract.

Interesting. Thanks! :thumbup:

ochre
12-14-2006, 02:23 PM
These guys, according to the article, appear to be Mexican nationals at this stage (based on the acquisition of Mexican Passports). I guess MLB would have to follow whatever rules NAFTA established for baseball... :)

savafan
12-14-2006, 02:28 PM
These guys, according to the article, appear to be Mexican nationals at this stage (based on the acquisition of Mexican Passports). I guess MLB would have to follow whatever rules NAFTA established for baseball... :)
Well...

Betancourt was driven from Los Angeles to Mexico to obtain a visa to legitimize his entry into the United States but his Mexican passport was "determined to be fraudulent," prosecutors said. He was arrested by Mexican authorities but later released and entered the U.S. again on Oct. 10, 2004, as a Cuban seeking asylum.

ochre
12-14-2006, 02:34 PM
Well...
Sorry, I didn't read the full article. I thought your quotes contained all the pertinent data, at least in regards to questions of citizenship... :)