Monday, June 9, 2008

Que?

A young Cuban third baseman defected a month or so ago and is now accepting calls from suitors:
A top Cuban baseball prospect is going public after defecting from the island and settling in South Florida nearly a month ago.

Dayan Viciedo is a 19-year old third baseman. He spoke Monday in Hialeah along with his agent, Jaime Torres. Torres said Viciedo has been contacted by 14 different major league teams.Torres also said he plans to petition for Viciedo to become an
unrestricted free agent.
I don't follow this stuff as closely as I probably should, but isn't it the case that if a Cuban defector hits the U.S. first, he goes into the draft? Wasn't there this whole song and dance a couple of years ago in which a couple of guys tried to get to Costa Rica or Mexico or someplace first in order to ensure their free agent status? If it's the case that the guy would ordinarily be subject to the draft, but can simply petition to get out of it, why aren't others doing it too?

If anyone knows the rules about this, please enlighten me. Depending on the answers to those questions, I may have to move further into the abolish-the-draft camp.

3 comments:

Jason said...

If he settled in, say, the DR, he would not be subject to the draft and can auction his services to the highest bidder. But if he declares in the US, he would be draft-eligible. And dumb as a box of rocks to do so.

Just sayin'...

Osmodious said...

There *was* a whole brouhaha about this a while back, centered around Alfonso Soriano. There was the added wrinkle there of a Japanese team having signed a contract with him (also, he is obviously not Cuban). OK, it wasn't the same situation at all, but there *were* all sorts of legal issues and they were going to clarify the rules based on it...I think to avoid the probability that the rich teams would just scoop up these guys as soon as they were available (there was some talk of protecting them as well, since they were signing long term deals for much less than they'd get on the open market in the US).
(Yes, this was mostly unhelpful, but it gives someone a decent place to start looking for info: Soriano)

Pat said...

His idea is that because Dayan Viciedo was in the US before the last draft, he was eligible for that draft. He was not drafted. He is now an undrafted free agent.

And yes, if you settle outside of the US, you are considered an international player and as such, not subject to the draft. People who currently retain Cuban citizenship are probably prevented from working in the US for anything. But that's just a guess.