By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The Cuban Professional Baseball Federation, or FEPCUBE hosted a press conference on Friday and announced their preliminary roster for the 2024 Intercontinental Series in Barranquilla, Colombia, in January at Estadio Edgar Renteria.
The FEPCUBE team has Major League Baseball players, including Aroldis Chapman, Yandy Diaz, Jorge Soler, Yulieski Gurriel, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Aledmys Díaz, and Yennier Cano, on the preliminary roster for the 2024 Intercontinental Series.
Players that elected free agency such as Yulieski Gurriel, Soler, and Chapman could play in this tournament if they do not have a contract with a MLB organization.
Aledmys Diaz, Yandy Diaz, Cano, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr are under contract with MLB organizations. The Intercontinental Series is not part of the Winter League Agreement, unlike the Caribbean Series, which is run by the Confederation de Beisbol Profesional del Caribe.
Brayan Pena will be the manager for the FEPCUBE team for the Intercontinental Series. Mandy Llanes is the president of FEPCUBE. Orlando Hernandez, a former MLB pitcher born in Cuba, is the vice president and general manager of FEPCUBE.
FEPCUBE will have their training camp at the Miami-Dade College North Campus baseball field from January 6-22 prior to traveling to Colombia for the Intercontinental Series.
The roster for FEPCUBE will be finalized at training camp in the next few weeks.
“FEPCUBE is a bridge that will unite our Cuban community underneath an umbrella national wise of baseball. We are an organization that is going to be transparent with creativity and support for all Cubans from all over the world,” Llanes said in Spanish at the press conference.
FEPCUBE has no relationship to the Federacion Cubana de Beisbol or the Cuban government.
Llanes stated during the press conference on Friday, “FEPCUBE will try to better their conditions and opportunities for Cuban baseball players and to help other Latin baseball players if they need it or if they are not being represented.”
The FEPCUBE team will consist of players who are Cuban exiles or were born in the United States and are of Cuban descent.
The Intercontinental Series is a club tournament that began as the Latin American Series, which operated from 2013-19 and featured the winners of the winter leagues in Panama, Argentina, Curacao, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Mexico.
The Intercontinental Series will be played from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1, 2024, with the champion of the Liga Profesional de Béisbol Colombia representing Colombia. Curacao, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, the United States, are reportedly also participating in the event.
The Nihonkai Baseball League in Japan, the Neo Asia League “Field of Dreams” Professional Baseball Organization in Indonesia, the Western League from the United States, which is an independent league will have their roster will be made up of players from their league and the Pecos League based in the Southwest region of the United States participate in the 2024 Intercontinental Series.
The Curacao Professional Baseball League, which is operated by Federashon Di Beisbol Di Korsou will send a team of players who played during their first year of operation in the 2023 regular season; South Korea will have their independent league from the Gyeonggi-do Baseball Softball Association called the Gyeonggi Province Independent League will participate at the event and Liga Mexicana de Beisbol will bring a selective team to the 2024 Intercontinental Series.
According to the Intercontinental Series website, Baseball United from the United Emirates, the Australian Baseball League, Serie Nacional from Cuba, Liga de Beisbol Profesional Nacional in Nicaragua, Liga Profesional de Béisbol de Panamá, and the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan are all potential future participants for the Intercontinental Series.
No game schedule has been announced for the 2024 Intercontinental Series.
FEPCUBE Intercontinental Series Preliminary Roster
Alex De Goti
Luis Aviles Jr.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
FEPCUBE 2024 Intercontinental Series Coaching Staff
Brayan Pena – Manager
Euclides Rojas – Bench Coach
Jose Castro – Hitting Coach
Yunieski Gurriel – Assistant Hitting Coach
Jose Contreras – Pitching Coach
Michael Tejera – Bullpen Coach
Barbaro Garbey – Third Base Coach
Jorge Luis Toca – First Base Coach