Cuban Baseball Federation demand million compensation for Yariel Rodríguez’s breach of contract
HAVANA, March 31st. Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) announced that it will demand the payment of 10 million dollars for “damages” derived from the decision of pitcher Yariel Rodríguez to unilaterally breach his contractual relationship with the Chunichi Dragons, in Japan’s Professional Baseball League (NPB).
The FCB confirmed this Tuesday the news that the right-hander from Camagüey had not joined the Japanese franchise, “with which he has a current employment contract,” according to a note published by the Jit sports portal.
In addition, he described the athlete’s decision as “a serious fault” and recalled that he acts as his representative in the pact established between him and the Dragons for the 2023-2024 period.
The Cuban Baseball Federation in its statement also considers that the decision “contradicts the efforts made for Yariel to develop in a high-level league like Japan, and from there to support the Cuban national team,” according to the official statement.
In its note, the federation invoked the letter of the contract, which establishes that “the athlete acknowledges and accepts that compliance with this contract begins from the moment he leaves Cuba for Japan and ends upon his return to Cuba.
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He also accepts that in case of breach of the contract by him without just cause, at the discretion of the Federation, he may not be hired by any other club or third parties without the express authorization of the Federation…”
In turn, it refers that in this segment of the document it is established that “in case of abandonment, the FCB will request the amount of 10 million dollars for damages,” a clause by which it will demand “rights and responsibilities.”
However, the note does not clarify whether it would be the player, the team that contracts him in the future, or the Japanese team that is responsible for covering this demand.
Statement by Chunichi Dragons
For its part, the Chunichi Dragons management reported this Wednesday that attempts to contact the player have so far been unsuccessful.
The source adds that the issue of contractual guarantees was one of the points in the exchanges held last year between the island’s National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER) and some Japanese professional clubs, with the aim of consolidating baseball cooperation.
However, the Dragons have not advanced their position, nor the steps they will take in response to this situation that leaves them without the services of one of the most reliable relievers in recent NPB seasons and who had joined the club three years ago.
In addition, he was the pitcher chosen by the Cuban team’s manager for the first start in the recent 5th World Baseball Classic (WBC), in which he impressed with his ability to dominate top-level hitters with a wide repertoire of pitches and a sustained speed of more than 95 miles/hour.
On Tuesday, journalist Francys Romero, based in the city of Miami and a specialist in issues related to Cuban baseball players in Major League Baseball (MLB), reported that Yariel had decided to embark on his own path toward a contract with a team in the main U.S. professional circuit.
According to Romero’s report, the player was already in the Dominican Republic, with the aim of being declared a free agent, an essential requirement to freely negotiate a future contract, which could reach up to 50 million dollars for five or six seasons, according to experts.
Yariel is not the first Cuban player who decides to breach a contract signed with NPB teams and protected by the island’s federation. It happened before with Yulieski Gurriel, Héctor Mendoza, José Adolis García, Andy Rodríguez, and Oscar Luis Colás.
The case of Colás could be a reference to what could happen in the near future with Yariel. After his decision to break his ties with the Softbank Hawks, the team’s management restricted his options to sign a new contract, something he finally achieved almost a year later with the Chicago White Sox in MLB.
From what is known so far, the FCB did not demand any compensation nor is it known to have received it at any time.