5 MLB Players That You Didn’t Know Defected From Cuba

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(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

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In light of the Boston Red Sox signing Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal, let’s take a look at other MLB players who defected from Cuba. Some you may have heard of and some you may have not but did you know all of the players on this list defected from Cuba?

5. Yasiel Puig

The 23-year-old Dodger outfield defected from Cuba in 2012 and made his debut in Dodger blue in June of 2013. Known for his passion and sometimes controversial antics, Puig has been sensational in outfield for Don Mattingly. 

4. Aroldis Chapman

The 26-year-old has been pitching for the Reds since 2010 after defecting in 2009. After allegedly clocking a pitch at 106 mph, Chapman is a force to be reckoned with.

3. Yoenis Cespedes

Castillo has a fellowed Cuban on the team in Yoenis Cespedes. The 28-year-old back-to-back Home Run Derby champion now plays for the Red Sox after being traded by the A’s for Jon Lester. He defected in 2011 and made his debut in 2012. 

2. Jose Abreu

The leading contender to win the Rookie of the Year award, Abreu has been a wrecking machine. With 33 home runs and league leading 94 RBI’s, Jose’s defection from Cuba in 2013 has helped out the White Sox … tremendously!

1. Jose Fernandez

The 22-year-old pitching phenom defected from Cuba in 2008 after three unsuccessful tries. He debuted for the Miami Marlins in 2013 and won the NL Rookie of the Year award. 

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