Four Cuban players sign with Canadian professional league

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-4-16 11:07:51

Cuban baseball players Alexei Bell, Ismel Jimenez, Yordan Manduley and Yulieski Gourriel signed here Wednesday their contracts to play in the next season for the Quebec Capitales team of the Canadian independent Can-Am League.

They must join to the Quebec Capitales on May 7 to begin their preparation for the regular stage, which will run from 21 of the same month until September 15.

This will be the first experience in the Canadian baseball circuit for Bell, Jimenez and Manduley, while Gourriel is to participate for the second time after playing for the same club in the 2014 season.

Patrick Scalabrini, director of the Canadian team, remarked they were looking for "great players", but also "good people ", besides of being based in some technical criteria.

"I spend a lot of time studying the Cuban players and follow the National Series. You may say I'm a fan of your baseball. I talked to several coaches; Lourdes Gurriel helped me a lot. I am very pleased with the selection," Scalabrini said during the ceremony for signing the contracts.

On his part, Higinio Velez, president of the Cuban Baseball Federation, stressed that the Canadian competition, scheduled between May 21 and September 15, will not prevent the convening of any of the players for the Cuban baseball selection to participate in the tournament of the Pan American Games Toronto on July 11-19.

"They are available to the national team if called by the technicians. The contract is clear and the parties had no objection to agree it," Velez cleared out to reporters.

The hiring of Cuban athletes in foreign leagues is included in the reforms promoted since 2008 by President Raul Castro, searching to elevate the quality of the local players and prevent the defections, which damaged considerably the high performance sports in the Caribbean country for the last two decades.

Posted in: Baseball

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