By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
On Monday afternoon in Havana, Cuba, the Federación Cubana de Béisbol announced the roster selection process for the Elite League, which will play its second season starting in October.
The 2023-24 Elite League season will feature the top six teams from the 2023 Serie Nacional regular season standings. Las Tunas, Industriales, Artemisa, Matanzas, Santiago and Sancti Spíritus will be the participating clubs for the winter league.
Las Tunas, which won the 2023 Serie Nacional championship will participate in the 2024 Baseball Champions League, along with the winners of the 2023 Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, the 2023-24 Liga Profesional de Beisbol de Colombia champion, and the 2023 American Association champion.
The winner of this year’s Elite League season will not participate in the 2024 Caribbean Series held at loanDepot Park in Miami. Agricultores participated in the 2023 Caribbean Series after winning the Elite League’s first season in 2022-23. The 2023 Caribbean Series was the first time Cuba participated since the 2019 event was held at Estadio Rod Carew in Panama City, Panama. The Agricultores went 1-6 during the 2023 Caribbean Series in Caracas, Venezuela.
Elite League Format for 2023-24
- Twenty players from the original Serie Nacional team (it is a requirement that they have participated in the Serie Nacional)
- Twelve reinforcements (Eight from the Cuban National Baseball Commission pool and four free that can be athletes living abroad and playing in other leagues, upon request and approval from the Cuban National Baseball Commission)
- The selection of reinforcements will be on September 21 in a live program on national television.
- The first and third round of the reinforcement draft will start from first to sixth place. Rounds two and four will run from sixth to first, and the rest by draw.
- Training starts on September 18.
- The regular season will take place from November 7 to December 25.
- The subseries will be four games, and the season will be played in two halves with a total of 40 games.
- The 32 players of each team will be eligible to participate in each game. The visiting team will travel with 27 players.
- Athletes hired abroad under the auspices of the Cuban National Baseball Commision may be registered and canceled at any time.
Explaining the selection process for the Elite League
- Twenty players who played at least one game with that team in the Serie Nacional
- Eight mandatory players to choose from a pool that will be made by the Cuban National Baseball Commission
- Four players to be chosen by the provincial team who may be athletes living abroad and playing in other leagues, upon request and approval from the Cuban National Baseball Commission