Recent weeks have been chaotic in Venezuela, as the South American country is facing a political, economic and social crisis.
In recent days, the Venezuelan opposition has summoned protests against Nicolás Maduro’s regime in order to make a statement regarding the lack of medicine, food and safety in the nation. These protests have caused 30 casualties and hundreds of injured civilians.
This situation directly affects Major League Baseball, as the country where baseball players like Miguel Cabrera, José Altuve and Salvador Pérez were born, turns out to be the second highest player supplier to the North American nation, with the Dominican Republic being first. The Opening Day in 2017 had 76 Venezuelans in action among 30 MLB 25-man rosters, and this year’s projections suggest that 80 Venezuelan players should be signed during the July 2 process.
"The office of the Commissioner will hold at least three showcases for Venezuelan players outside the country," said league in a statement signed by Kim Ng and shared by Arturo Marcano on his Twitter account. "The dates and locations will be determined."
Ng’s dispatch points out that the MLB reached an agreement with Empresas Polar, the country’s biggest food supplier and a current MLB ally, in order to use their facilities in Valencia, approximately 70 miles away from Caracas, the country’s capital. They are also on the lookout for another alternative as MLB teams look to have private tryouts for the prospects eligible to sign between 2018 and 2019.
In any case, any scouts or executives that visit Venezuela must inform the Commissioner’s Office about their full schedule, although they insisted any visit to the country should be avoided given the difficult situation currently developing.
"We urge clubs that continue to scout in the country to take every possible precaution to ensure the safety of its staff," the statement said. "And to avoid the unnecessary risk."