Cuban newspaper says 1st baseman Abreu defects

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

departed Cuba ”illegally and silently” for a Caribbean nation,

most likely Haiti or the Dominican Republic. No further details

were provided.

The 26-year-old Abreu played in all six games 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.