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Venezuelans will try their luck as free agents in the MLB

Venezuelans will try their luck as free agents in the MLB

Posted by Dubraswka Aguilar on March 26, 2014

Freddy Garcia had no further explanation by the Atlanta Braves when he was released. "They said they did not want to take my contract. Gotta go... I have nothing more to say," he told to the journalist David O'Brien.

What was it that happened? The new contract signed in 2012 between the MLB and the players' association contemplates that players like García, meaning players with more than six years of service, who finished last season on the roster of 40, became free-agents and signed a minor league contract, have the possibility of leaving the team to five days before the start of the season if they know that they will fail to win a place and do not want to start the year in the minors.

The team can release the player to try his luck in free agency or else give him a "retention bonus" to stay in the organization, going to triple A.

Garcia said he did not want to go to the minors and the Braves did not want him on the big team. The only option was to terminate the contract. Now the Venezuelan is allowed to listen to offers from other teams.

Garcia’s case was not unique, because this year 34 players signed minor league contract under that condition. Of these, in addition to the pitcher, six are Venezuelans and except from Johan Santana, none managed to earn a place in their teams. All opted for free agency before going to the minors.

Santana will start the season on the disabled list for the Baltimore Orioles, which is technically the major league roster of the team.

Hernandez and Mijares, another case

Ramon Hernandez and Jose Mijares did not apply to sign a contract like Freddy Garcia. The first one did not end in the majors during the last campaign while the second did not accumulate six years of service.

However, both reached agreements with their teams, Royals and Red Sox, to try their luck in another organization if they could not make the big team. And both decided to hit free agency.

Meanwhile, Hernandez continues to train with the Royals, but may leave if he gets a better deal.

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