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MLB 2022 | Puig changes plea to not guilty, Chicago White Sox hired Cuban coaches

Major League Baseball (MLB) Cuban Players News for the 2022 offseason. A compendium from several MLB sources


Yasiel Puig. (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

Yasiel Puig has withdrawn an agreement to plead guilty in connection with an illegal gambling ring.


Puig is charged with lying to federal investigators who were looking into the gambling operation, and the indication earlier this month was that the former MLB outfielder would plead guilty in United States District Court. "I want to clear my name," Puig said in a statement Wednesday. "I never should have agreed to plead guilty to a crime I did not commit." Puig’s attorney, Keri Axel, told the Los Angeles Times that “significant new evidence" has led to a change in approach to the case. The belief of the defense is that Puig might have been entrapped. "Mr. Puig, who has a third-grade education, had untreated mental-health issues, and did not have his own interpreter or criminal legal counsel with him,", Axel added .Puig played in the majors from 2013 to 2019 but there is no evidence in the plea agreement that he bet on baseball.


The White Sox announced Tuesday that they have hired Braves assistant hitting coach José Castro to be their next hitting coach.


Castro, born in Havana, Cuba in 1958, had served as the assistant hitting coach for the Braves for the past eight seasons. Castro played 14 minor league seasons between 1977-90. He’s spent the past three-plus decades in various instructional roles, including a stint as interim hitting coach with the 2008 Mariners. This’ll be his first time taking the lead role on a full-time basis. Castro was one of two assistant hitting coaches in Atlanta, pairing in that role with Bobby Magallanes.


KC Royals losing infield coordinator Eddie Rodríguez to White Sox.


Former Kansas City Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol has plucked a pair of coaches from the organization to join his coaching staff with the AL Central Division rival Chicago White Sox. Grifol, hired by the White Sox for his first managerial post earlier this offseason, will have Mike Tosar on his staff as the major league field coordinator, and Cuban Eddie Rodríguez will serve as the third base coach. Rodríguez, 63 and from Havana, Cuba, has spent 40 years as a coach in professional baseball. He had two separate stints with the Royals. He most recently served as the minor-league infield coordinator for the past six seasons. Rodríguez’s coaching resume includes several stops as a member of major-league staffs with the Royals as third base coach (2011-13), Seattle Mariners first base coach, bench coach for the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals, Arizona Diamondbacks (first base coach, third base coach) and third base coach for the Toronto Blue Jays.



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