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Newspaper: Cuban 1st baseman Abreu defects

August 26, 2013

HAVANA (AP) — 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 left Cuba “illegally and silently” to a Caribbean nation, probably Haiti or the Dominican Republic.

The newspaper did not give more details about how Abreu left or where he went.

The 26-year-old Abreu played all six matches 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.

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