Colas case highlights Latin players' troubles with Japanese baseball
Kyodo -- Jun 13
When 21-year-old Cuban outfielder Oscar Colas turned up in the Dominican Republic in January, he hoped to leave both his homeland and Japan's SoftBank Hawks behind him as a new baseball future in America beckoned.

Instead, he has become caught in the wheels of a system that does not always afford young Latin players the same level of diligence it does to ballplayers coming to Japan with major league experience.

Colas, who defected from Cuba after the 2019 season, is seeking a path to the major leagues that the Hawks are blocking. He is now trying to negotiate with the Hawks to end the impasse. But according to his agents, the Hawks have been insisting on their right to keep him through the 2024 season.

Colas and his mother Karelia, however, insist that in 2017 they were not shown the contract in advance to review, and were told at the signing it was only for three years. Karelia said that by arranging a deal with SoftBank and not explaining it to them they deprived them of their rights and betrayed their trust.

"Yes, it is like the slave trade in a way, because of the way we were treated, not having any information about the clauses in the contract," Karelia told Kyodo News in a recent interview.

"We are humble people. We have never read or entered into any legal agreements before this one. Our ignorance and lack of understanding was taken advantage of by the Hawks."

News source: Kyodo
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