• Kyodo


Nippon Professional Baseball commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki suggested on Friday that the nullification of infielder Yulieski Gourriel’s contract with the Yokohama BayStars is not likely to influence the future signings of Cuban baseball players in Japan.

“I think of this as an individual contract problem,” said Kumazaki, a day after the BayStars revealed it had informed Gourriel, 30, that he is not welcome back to the team.

Unlike with the major leagues and professional leagues in South Korea, Taiwan and China, no player contract agreement between Cuba and Japanese baseball exists.

NPB executive director Atsushi Ihara said there is no current plan to form an agreement with Cuba.

Gourriel was scheduled to arrive in Japan at the end of March following the conclusion of Cuba’s domestic season, but cited a thigh injury as his reason for not arriving on time.

He indicated that he would have the injury treated in Cuba before traveling to Japan, but with no apparent timetable and no evidence of the injury, the team decided to cut him.

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