• Ray Otero-Alonso

MLB 2022 | Puig faces potential prison time, tree players to play for Cuba at the 2023 WBC, and more

Major League Baseball (MLB) Cuban Players News for the 2022 offseason. A compendium from several MLB sources


Yasiel Puig. (Photo: Getty Images)

Yasiel Puig has agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge related to an illegal gambling operation.


Puig lied to federal law enforcement officials who were investigating the gambling ring, which was allegedly started by former A's minor leaguer Wayne Nix. When the investigation ultimately concluded, Puig was found to have placed 899 illegal sports bets -- on tennis, football, and basketball games -- over just a three-month period in 2019. Full details of the case are available at the embedded post below. Puig's felony charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. He has agreed to pay a fine of at least $55,000 and will appear in United States District Court on November 15. The Cuba native Puig, who turns 32 in early December, spent parts of seven seasons in the majors, six of which came with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Over that span, he batted .277/.348/.475 with 132 home runs, 79 stolen bases, and one All-Star appearance. He last appeared in MLB in 2019. In 2021, Puig played in the Mexican League, and this past season he played with the Kiwoom Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization. For the 31-year-old player, it's probably all over now.


Team Cuba for the 2023 World Baseball Classic is getting now attention with new additions.


Team Cuba had some trouble attracting MLB stars for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). The team is still facing the issue with international players no wanting to participate for different reasons, majority of them, political. But, the process of building a competitive roster for the international tournament took a new turn this Monday, when the Cuban Baseball Federation announced the additions to its roster of the first players integrated into the MLB system, and other beyond the control of the federation itself. Third baseman Andy Ibáñez (Detroit Tigers) and RHP Yoán López (New York Mets) both actively playing at MLB level, and RHP Elián Leyva (Naranjeros de Hermosillo) in the Mexican League, announced their commitment to play for Cuba in the 2023 WBC. The Cuban federation announced that they have been added to the preliminary roster that is being formed for the international event. The announcement is historic, as it could be the first time that a Cuban national team is made up of active MLB players or players not integrated into the Cuban baseball system.


Orioles' Yusniel Díaz: Loses spot on 40-man roster. Díaz cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk last Thursday, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reported. The 26-year-old received his first taste of the majors in 2022 but appeared in only one game as a pinch hitter. Díaz had a .252/.350/.362 slash line with six home runs, 34 RBI and nine steals in 70 games at Triple-A Norfolk.