Rather than the triumph of Pinar Del Río in the National Series or Yarisley Silva’s victory at the World Indoor Athletics, the sports story of the year in the country has been the confirmation that Frederich Cepeda signed a contract with the Japanese Yomiuri Giants.
The possibility that active players in Cuba leave to intervene in the Asian Major Leagues was there for some years , but until now they had never taken the first step , which as we know is often the most difficult one. Hence the relevance of this event involving the star left fielder of Cuban national teams in the last decade.
The switch hitter, with 17 Series played, that the Japanese side did not hesitate to qualify as one of the best Cuban players of all ages, said he was proud to restart of this kind of exchange, interrupted since Omar Linares played there in 2002-2005. “I am going to Japan to give my best, it is one of the greatest things that have happened in my career,” Cepeda told reporters.
Cepeda , who has shined in three World Classics and won the Olympic title in Atenas’04 enjoys offensives on both sides from the plate, which played a decisive role in his recruitment. However, Japanese managers have advanced he will not start playing right away, before he shall serve a period of adaptation and training.
According to Sponichi , the contract amount was 150 million yen , plus a signing bonus of 50 million yen ( that amounts to 1.47 million USD + 490,000 USD) . That is, unlike what happens with the most depressed links to the in Mexican ball in terms of salary , the relationship with Japanese baseball opens the door to true injection the domestic sports system is much in need.
The president of the Cuban Federation, Higinio Velez, has this very clear, so he quickly highlighted the spectrum of collaboration that comes from the historical event. “As it is known, we are working on the integration of our strongest players in Asia and Latin leagues, which will result in quality for domestic baseball.”
So , after accumulating at bat a .329 average , 260 homers and astronomical.474 OBP , the number “24” of Sancti Spiritus now goes to play at a higher level , where today his compatriots Juan Miguel Miranda Michel Abreu, Yuniesky Betancourt , Barbaro Canizares and Leslie Anderson , play though all residing outside of Cuba .
The ball in the Rising Sun nation is considered the second most powerful in the planet – after the American MLB -his championship elite consists of 144 games per squad , and while it is true that feeds mainly national talent , it is no less true every time there are more players from the Americas .
In the most recent half century, only El Niño Linares played there with the permission of the authorities of the Island. He wore the shirt of the Chunichi Dragons, and his performance was disappointing against the complicated pitching of that league.
Now it is Cepeda’s turn to credentials for the entry of other players who play in the Cuban championship. Again, as in many international events, Cuba deposits all hopes in his bat.