(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
December 8, 2023
The Panama ProBeis league announced on Thursday that the start date of the league will happen on January 2, 2024 with three teams operating prior to the start of the 2024 Caribbean Series.
The full schedule of the 2024 ProBeis regular season has not yet been announced.
Former Major League Baseball Panamanian legend Carlos Lee was named the president of the Panama ProBeis league on Thursday during the league and Confederation de Beisbol Profesional del Caribe press conference held in Panama. Lee replaced David Salayandia as the president of the league and is currently a television analyst with TVMax Deporte Panama.
Lee was the owner of Caballos de Coclé that won three championships in 2013, 2015 and 2018 and took over the position when the ProBeis league relaunched in the 2011-12 winter league season.
The Caballos de Cocle participated in the Latin American Series in 2013 during the event as well as 2015, and 2018 when the event was in operation until after the 2019 tournament.
Panama only hosted the Latin American Series in 2015 at Estadio Rod Carew in Panama City and Caballos de Cocle lost in the championship game 1-0 to Leones de Monteria of the Liga Profesional de Béisbol Colombia, which was the only time the nation appeared in the final of when the tournament was operated.
“November was a difficult month for the entire country, the economy collapsed for many reasons and a couple of sponsors fell out. Thanks to the Instituto Panameño de Deportes and some private companies we got ahead,” Salayandia stated during the ProBeis press conference to RPC News Media in Panama on Thursday interpreted from Spanish to English.
The Federales de Chiriquí, Panamá Metro and Águilas Metropolitanas will be the only teams participating in the 2024 ProBeis regular season.
The Aguilas Metropolitanas are the only team for the 2024 ProBeis regular season that has drafted players prior to the start of the season with right-handed pitcher Abraham Atencio, right-handed pitcher Luis Machuca, left-handed pitcher Juan Reyes, utility player Edgard Munoz, catcher Eduardo Tait, and outfielder Ariel Lebron being selected.
All of the games during the 2024 ProBeis season will take place at Estadio Rod Carew and Estadio Juan Demóstenes Arosemena which are both located in Panama City, Panama.
Federales de Chiriquí and Águilas Metropolitanas will be the only teams returning from the 2022-23 ProBeis regular season to participate in the 2024 season.
Astronautas Los Santos will not return for the upcoming 2024 ProBeis regular season as they participated in last year’s 2022-23 season.
Atlánticos de Bocas Del Toro y Colón only participated in the 2022-23 ProBeis regular season and will not participate in the 2024 regular season, the league announced on November 9.
“After a Board of Directors meeting, our organization determined that the social and economic situation of the country has directly negatively impacted both the Club’s sponsors and shareholders, which makes it impossible for us to play in the tournament this year. We trust and pray to god that the country returns to the social peace that we all long for; in order to return confidently to the League in the 2024-2025 season”, general manager Max Estrada of Atlánticos de Bocas Del Toro y Colón stated to RPC News Media on November 13.
In the 2023 ProBeis best-of-seven championship series last season, Federales de Chiriquí swept Atlánticos de Bocas Del Toro y Colón in four games to go to the 2023 Caribbean Series in Caracas, Venezuela.
Panama finished 3-4 during the eight-team tournament in Venezuela and did not qualify for the semifinals of the 2023 event.
The 2023 Caribbean Series was the first time in the history of the tournament that it expanded to eight teams.
Panama will send the winning team of their 2024 regular season to the 2024 Caribbean Series in Miami at loanDepot Park. Panama is one of the three invitees from the Confederación de Béisbol Profesional del Caribe to play in the 2024 event including Nicaragua and Curacao.
The 2024 Caribbean Series will be held from February 1-9.
The 2024 Caribbean Series will be the first time that the tournament is being played at a Major League Baseball Stadium since the event started in 1949. There will be seven nations participating in the event with one team sitting out in pool play prior to the start of the semifinals on February 8.
The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Venezuela will participate in the 2024 Caribbean Series with all of their countries’ leagues being part of the CBPC.
Cuba and Colombia participated in the 2023 event and will not return to the 2024 Caribbean Series in Miami.
Nicaragua and Curacao will both bring selective rosters to the 2024 Caribbean Series instead of the champion of their winter leagues from the 2023 Curacao Professional Baseball League and the 2023-24 Liga de Beisbol Profesional Nacional regular seasons.
Nicaragua will participate in the Caribbean Series for the first time in their nation’s history. Curacao went 2-5 in their first appearance of the 2023 Caribbean Series in Caracas, Venezuela and will return to the event for the second consecutive year.
Panama has appeared in the Caribbean Series from 1949-60 and returned during the 2018-19 season as the host of the tournament due to the economic and political issues from the presidential crisis in Venezuela. The Toros de Herrera won the Caribbean Series in 2019 and beat the 2018-19 Cuban Serie Nacional Champions Leñadores de Las Tunas 3-1 in the championship game on home soil at Estadio Rod Carew.
Toros de Herrera as well participated in the 2019 Latin American Series prior to the 2019 Caribbean Series and went 2-3 tied for third place with Tobis de Acayucan from Liga Invernal Veracruzana in Mexico and Falcons de Córdoba of the Liga Argentina de Béisbol.
The Carta Vieja Yankees were the only team from Panama that won the Caribbean Series prior to 2019 when they beat Criollos de Caguas of Puerto Rico 9-3 at Estadio Sixto Escobar in San Juan, Puerto Rico during the 1950 event.
This will be Panama’s sixth consecutive year returning to the Caribbean Series when the winner of the 2024 ProBeis season touches down in Miami on February 2 in the second day of the tournament against Curacao at 10:30 a.m. EST at loanDepot Park on ESPN Deportes.
Panama will have the day off during the seven team tournament on February 1.
All rosters of the three teams for the 2024 ProBeis regular season will consist of current professional free agents, players that have played during the 2023 Liga de Béisbol de Panamá Mayor regular season, former and current MLB players, housed players in the minor leagues with MLB organizations and players that have experience playing in international professional leagues.
Panama 2024 Caribbean Series Schedule
All games will be played at loanDepot Park
All games will be televised on ESPN Deportes
Friday February 2, 2024
10:30 a.m. EST – Panama vs. Nicaragua
Saturday, February 3, 2024
3:30 p.m. EST – Mexico vs. Panama
Sunday, February 4, 2024
10:30 a.m. EST – Panama vs. Nicaragua
Monday, February 5, 2024
8:30 p.m. EST – Puerto Rico vs. Panama
Tuesday, February 6, 2024
8:30 p.m. EST – Panama vs. Venezuela
Wednesday, February 7, 2024
3:30 p.m. EST – Dominican Republic vs. Panama
Thursday, February 8, 2024
3 p.m. – Semifinal 1
8 p.m. – Semifinal 2
Friday, February 9, 2024
3 p.m. – Third-place Game
8 p.m. – Championship Game