Cuban star OF Tomas defects

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jun 20 2014 01:33:17 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 20 2014 03:31:34 PM EDT
Baseball home plate

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Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas has defected, according to multiple reports.

Tomas, 23, stars for Industriales of Havana. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound corner outfielder represented Cuba in the 2013 World Baseball Classic and has played for Industriales since 2008.

Tomas, a right-handed hitter, went 6-for-16 with two home runs, one double and four strikeouts during the WBC.

Tomas batted .286 with 15 home runs, 60 RBIs and 45 runs scored in 81 games with Industriales last year, according to BaseballdeCuba.com.

This year, Tomas batted .290 with just six home runs in 257 plate appearances for Industriales. Baseball America reported that Tomas may have had an arm injury from colliding with an outfield wall.

Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, Oakland A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig are among the recent players to defect from Cuba and sign multimillion-dollar contracts in the major leagues.

This year, Cuba began allowing players to sign temporary contracts to compete overseas if they fulfill domestic commitments. In the past, the communist country prohibited players from playing professionally outside Cuba.

Yulieski Gourriel and Frederich Cepeda each signed deals worth about $1 million to play in Japan during Cuba's summer and fall offseason.

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