A seismic shift in relations with Cuba had many in US baseball salivating Thursday at the prospect of a flood of talent from the Caribbean country where America’s “national pastime” is a passion. Major League Baseball made a measured response to the news on Wednesday that the United States and Cuba would end five decades of Cold War hostility and move to revive diplomatic ties and ease a crippling US trade embargo. The sanctions, and Cuba’s refusal to allow players there to seek employment in the United States, have made for an arduous path for Cuban baseballers who defy their government and seek to pursue careers in America. Amid speculation that the trickle of talent from Cuba could become a torrent, and the country could surpass the Dominican Republic and Venezuela as top Latin American sources for Major League players, MLB and the players’ union were cautious.
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