Yasiel Puig was born and raised in Cuba, but if he has his wish, he’ll be representing Mexico at the World Baseball Classic.
Puig and Mexico WBC Edgar Gonzalez spoke to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network, where Puig revealed his hopes to suit up for team Mexico at the upcoming international baseball tournament.
On MLB Tonight, Yasiel Puig announces that he would like to play with Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic
It’s not uncommon in the WBC to see players represent other countries they weren’t born in (Jameson Taillon represented Canada, despite being born in the USA.) Per Morosi, Puig holds a Mexican passport after establishing residency in the country after defecting from Cuba. Puig’s defection is a harrowing story, featuring black market smugglers, human lives, and shady contract agreements. The cost of getting to Mexico and playing baseball stateside was high, financially and personally. It’s not a total surprise he wants to pay his gratitude forward by representing the country.
Gonzalez and Team Mexico are acting aggressively in making team Mexico stocked with MLB talent. Morosi reports multiple players with Mexican heritage, including Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon and Oakland A’s outfielder Khris Davis, may be eligible to suit up for Mexico.
Mexico manager Edgar González told me Matt Bush, Khris Davis, Anthony Rendon, Danny Espinosa, A.J. Ramos also may be eligible for WBC team.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) October 12, 2016
Attracting MLB talent to play for Mexico is quite the coup for Gonzalez. The players are eligible as no trickery is involved. Puig was born in Cuba but wants to represent Mexico. He’s got a Mexican passport, so if he chooses, he’ll play for team Mexico. It’s all legit.