Rays selected to play possible exhibition game in Cuba

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If there’s an exhibition game in Cuba next spring, it will be played by the Rays.

That was the news from Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times on Friday, as the Rays were selected as the winner of a lottery at MLB’s offices at Park Avenue in Manhattan. The Mets, Yankees, and Dodgers were among the other teams who expressed interest.

There are still some logistics to work out, including negotiations with the Cuban government, but the Rays would likely play the Cuban national team and the game would take place in Havana.

Talk of an exhibition game comes nearly a year after President Obama announced his intention to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba. Embassies were reopened earlier this year. Putting the obvious real world implications aside, these changes could have a significant impact on the future of MLB.

MLB last had a game in Cuba in March of 1999, when the Orioles played an exhibition game against the Cuban national team during spring training.