White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu is expected to return to camp on Friday as his testimony in the trial of two men accused of alien smuggling and conspiracy will continue into Thursday. Abreu, who relied on smugglers to escape Cuba and eventually signed to play with the White Sox, told the court Wednesday that he ate a page of his passport in order to travel from Haiti to Miami. Abreu was trying to get to the states in time to sign the $68 million dollar deal that was offered to him by the White Sox. Had he not arrived in time, the offer would go away.
Abreu’s struggle to leave Cuba has been well-documented by Jeff Passan of Yahoo!Sports and others. Abreu’s story, however, is one of many sad, trying tales of leaving Cuba for the Big Leagues. After signing the deal, Abreu, like many others, was extorted for money by the very men who brought him over to the United States. Typically, human trafficking isn’t the only crime committed by the types that transport and extort players.
Abreu will fly back to Phoenix at some point Thursday though the White Sox will not rush him into game action.