Cuban baseball player Jose Dariel Abreu defects to play in MLB: newspaper
In this March 4, 2013 photo, Cuba's first baseman Jose Abreu reacts after hitting a grand slam off China's Liu Yu in the fifth inning of their World Baseball Classic first round game in Fukuoka, Japan. (AP / Koji Sasahara)
The Associated Press
Published Monday, August 26, 2013 5:56PM EDT
HAVANA, Cuba -- An official Cuban newspaper says star first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu has defected to try to play in Major League Baseball.
The weekly Trabajadores newspaper reported Monday that Abreu departed Cuba "illegally and silently" for a Caribbean nation, most likely Haiti or the Dominican Republic. No further details were provided.
The 26-year-old Abreu played in all six games for Cuba in the World Baseball Classic in March, hitting .383 with three home runs and nine RBIs.
Abreu is the fourth Cuban player to defect in the past two months, adding to the departures of first baseman Yozzen Cuesta, and pitchers Misael Siveiro and Odrisamer Despaigne.
Cuban defectors Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig have recently signed multimillion dollar contracts to play in MLB.