The Cincinnati Reds usually have a handful of players that participate in the Venezuelan Winter League each year. Guys from the country go back home and some of them are asked to play in the league and it’s a nice additional paycheck for the minor leaguers who don’t make much during the season. It’s also extra playing time against higher level competition. There’s also the pride of being able to play in front of your home country’s fans.

None of that will be happening this year. That is unless something changes. Major League Baseball has banned all affiliated players from playing winter league baseball in Venezuela this season according to Jeff Passan from ESPN. This is a result of an executive order issued by President Trump on an embargo against Venezuela. The country is having many issues, and has been for the last few years now. Several teams, including the Reds in past years, have offered to help their Venezuelan players out if they wanted to remain stateside in the offseason rather than travel back home.

In Passan’s article there are notes about how some amateurs from Venezuela in recent years have moved out of the country. They are relocating to the Dominican Republic to train and sign. But he also notes that one concern could be that this could shut down signing of players from the country. Venezuela ranks only second behind the Dominican Republic in terms of players signed each year.

But the fear that some have expressed, according to the article, is that this count lead to Venezuela shutting down the ability for players to sign with Major League Baseball teams moving forward. That is all just speculation at this point. But it’s certainly something that could happen and is worth keeping an eye on.

Here’s a list of players from the organization (at the time) who have played in the Venezuelan Winter League:

  • Alejandro Chacin
  • Alberti Chavez
  • Kevin Garcia
  • Juan Graterol
  • Hernan Iribarren
  • Pabel Manzanero
  • Jose Peraza
  • Yorman Rodriguez

4 Responses

  1. Colorado Red

    For the safety of the players this is good.
    Food is hard to find, and I would worry about kidnappings, murders, etc.
    I hope the Reds do take care of the players above.
    Nice article.

  2. MK

    I’ve had 4 Venezuelan players live with us during the baseball season over the years, Alejandro Chacin being one of them. One issue with the Reds offer to take car of them in the off season is that if they have wives and or children the offer does not cover them. So the player not only loses his off season income playing in the league but has to spend a great deal to keep family here too. I visited Alejandro a couple weeks ago who is playing in the Atlantic League, he says his biggest problem is his mom has been diagnosed with diabetes and he needs to send her medications from here to home. He says his wife can get food OK for her, and her son it is just very expensive and the Atlantic League salary isn’t enough to bring them here.

    • Doug Gray

      This sounds like a Go Fund Me effort if I’ve ever heard of one.

  3. cinvenfan

    It’s terrible news for us Venezuelans since baseball is our national pastime. People are very upset about it but I can understand that their safety it’s a priority. Hopefullyour tragedy will come to an end soon.