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MLB Waiting for Opportunities in Cuba

 Major League Baseball authorities are closely following the agreement reached by Cuba and the United States to re-establish diplomatic relations, though the embargo will continue to prevent Cuban baseball players from reaching the league in a normal, straightforward way.

“MLB is closely following the White House announcement,” the US League declared Wednesday through a communiqué, adding it did not have enough details about the decision to offer an assessment.

Peter's Interview for "Outta the Parkway" on SeamHeads.com

Listen to Pete Bjarkman talk about the baseball impact of thawing relations between the USA and Cuba (on podcast radio with SEAMHEADS and Ted Leavengood) …

USA Baseball to Host Cuba in Friendship Series

DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation announced on Wednesday that the two international baseball powers will continue their home-and-home international friendship series in the U.S. this July. 2015 will mark the fourth consecutive year the two countries have met on the baseball diamond for a five-game series. The U.S. hosted in 2013, while Cuba hosted the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in 2012 and 2014.

Report: Yoan Moncada to Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox reportedly have landed the latest free-agent prize out of Cuba, coming to terms with 19-year-old switch-hitting infielder Yoan Moncada.

Moncada's representative David Hastings said there is no signed agreement yet but anticipates it will be done soon. A Red Sox team source also told ESPNBoston.com that no deal had been reached.

While the Yoan Moncada deal represents a coup for the Red Sox, it's also a very big and expensive gamble, writes Gordon Edes. Story

Minnie Minoso, Helped Integrate Baseball With White Sox, Dies at 89

Minnie Minoso, the hugely popular All-Star outfielder from Cuba who was the major leagues’ first black player out of Latin America and a treasured figure in the history of the Chicago White Sox, died on Sunday in Chicago. His true age was never entirely clear, but by an account in his autobiography, he would have been 89 when he died.

Cuban MLB Presence Stabilizes

With a number of hot prospects (led by Yasmani Tomas, Rusney Castillo and Dalier Hinojosa) perched in AAA, the Cuban big league presence is likely to soar again during the first several months of the new 2015 season. But currently only 18 Cubans are found on MLB Opening Day rosters. The single newcomer is Raciel Iglesias who has been tabbed as a fifth starter by the Cincinnati Reds and will likely become Cuban big leaguer #187 before the week is over. The list of Cubans (12 in the NL and 6 in the AL) on Opening Day Rosters is as follows (salaries included in parentheses):

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