The Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) and Major League Baseball (MLB) have announced an agreement between the two organisations which will provide a direct pathway for Cuban players to sign contracts with MLB clubs for the first time.
The agreement allows Cuban players to sign contracts with MLB clubs without having to leave Cuba and take up residency in another country, due to the current United States embargo with Cuba.
FCB will allow all players under contract who are at least 25-years-old and have six or more years of playing experience to sign with a MLB club, with the option to release players under 25.
In return, FCB will receive a transfer fee from the MLB club that signs an FCB player, which will be between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of the total guaranteed value for major league contracts, and 25 per cent of the signing bonus for minor league contracts.
The agreement will last until October 31, 2021.
"This is a historic and very positive initiative that is great for the next generation of Cuban players and our Cuban federation," said World Baseball Softball Confederation President Riccardo Fraccari.
"This agreement has already proven to be a viable model in Japan, where Cuban stars are playing in Nippon Professional Baseball and are welcomed back to their homeland and can compete on the Cuban national team, which is the highest honour in the country."
FCB President Higinio Velez added: "Today is a happy day for Cuban baseball and the baseball world, because FCB and MLB have achieved an agreement that will allow the presence of our players in the Major Leagues, without them having to break off with their country, the Cuban National Series (league) or the Cuban National Team."