Aroldis Chapman, Cuba, and How Politics Can Change Baseball

Billy DeCostaCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2009

SAN DIEGO - MARCH 15: Aroldis Chapman #52 of team Cuba pitches against team Japan during the 2009 World Baseball Classic Round 2 Pool 1 match on March 15, 2009 at Petco Park in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Baseball junkies are rejoicing after hearing news that Cuban super-prospect Aroldis Chapman has defected from the Cuban National Team and is planning to play in the Unites States.

Chapman, who's only 21, is a left-handed fireballer who can hit 100-plus on the gun and some say has above-average secondary stuff.

Chapman will be one of the most coveted free agents in the upcoming offseason.

But, that got me thinking.

See, Cuba produces some of the world's most talented baseball players, yet, because of our relationship with the island, we never see their talent.

However, since President Obama was elected, clear steps have been taken to warm relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

If these steps do eventually progress to the point (and that could take some time) where Cuban players are free to sign with MLB clubs, the landscape of baseball would change forever.

Think about it.

Cuban children grow up on baseball. The country is a major player in all international competition. A flood of new talent coming into the major leagues, as politics intersect sports, would be great for Major League Baseball.

We've seen how much Dominican players and Latino players have impacted today's game.

Raising the talent level of the entire league can only benefit every team.

The ramifications from hundreds of new free agents (that haven't had the chance for much scouting) flooding the markets could be rough at first.

But, after the system is established, a flock of Cuban talent will only benefit baseball in the long run.

Today, we can gleam over Chapman.

But someday it will happen, and baseball better be ready for it.