Two Cubans who play in Japan were picked, outfielder Yurisbel Gracial of the Pacific League's Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks and catcher Ariel Martínez of the Central League's Chunichi Dragons.
To arrange participation of the MLB players, Cuba had to get special permission from the United States because Washington maintains sanctions on Cuba. Under the agreement, those players are barred from coming to Cuba to work with the team.
Baseball is the national sport in Cuba but economic difficulties, the philosophy of restricting the movement of athletes and the temptations of professional contracts abroad has decimated the game on the island.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports