At least 95 scouts from all MLB franchises have observed players at the LVI edition of the Caribbean Series, which is held in Margarita, Venezuela island.
"We originally had knowledge that two scouts had been accredited from MLB franchises, but many more arrived, we counted them and there are 95 of them, here," Ismael Granadillo said, who's a member of the organizing committee of the Caribbean Classic in Venezuela.
The scouts were authorized by the MLB chairman in Latin America, Lou Melendez, and MLB vice president of operations in the region, Joel Araujo, according to Granadillo .
Granadillo said there is a franchise that sent five scouts to track multiple players in which they are interested.
Even though the name of the team hasn't been been made public, sources have revealed this franchise is believed to be the New York Yankees, who have been always very attracted to Cuban players in the past.
The large number of scouts at Nueva Esparta stadium at Asuncion has one reason only.
Yes, the main attraction for all scouts is the team of Villa Clara, Cuba. The Cuban side returned to the classic Caribbean after 54 years of absence.
According to Granadillo, the Villa Clara team has very high quality players, but because they play in such a remote area in Cuba it is almost impossible to see these players.
"The main attention is in (Yuliesky) Gourriel and (Alfredo) Despaigne, they have been observed in the previous World Classics ( ... ) we need to take this opportunity, because is not easy to approach Cuban player," said the director of international operations for Saint Luis Cardinals, Moises Rodriguez.
The Cuban player Alfredo Despaigne said all players dream with MLB, but, as the player; the "decision depends on " the National Institute of Sports and Physical Education and Recreation of Cuba (INDER).
"The dream of everyone here is to play in other professional leagues. The decision depends on the agency that represents me in Cuba, which is the INDER," said Despaigne to the press in Margarita Island.
Third baseman Yulieski Gourriel , one of the figures reinforced the Cuban representative, confident that at the end of the season may have permission from the authorities of his country to play abroad.
Cuban athletes can be recruited abroad, according to a new policy approved last September by the government of the island. They also approve increases on salaries of athletes, players, coaches, and specialists.
After Despaigne was hired in the Mexican league but still playing baseball in the Cuban series without having deserted Cuba, this new legislation was promoted on the island.
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