Associated Press2 Minute Read
Dubai-Based Baseball League Drafts Bartolo Colon, Robinson Cano, and Pablo Sandoval
In an unprecedented move, the inaugural draft of a Dubai-based baseball league has selected a group of notable, older former major league players. Among the players chosen are Bartolo Colon, Robinson Cano, and Pablo Sandoval.
The Baseball United league, which is the first professional baseball league in the Middle East and South Asia, made these headline selections. Other players chosen include Didi Gregorius, Andrelton Simmons, and Steven Moya.
Robinson Cano, an eight-time All-Star, was selected sixth overall by the Dubai Wolves, one of the four Baseball United teams set to launch next fall. The other teams are the Karachi Monarchs, Mumbai Cobras, and Abu Dhabi Falcons. They will also be participating in an All-Star showcase at Dubai International Stadium next month.
The league’s investors include Hall of Famers Mariano Rivera and Barry Larkin. President and CEO of Baseball United, Kash Shaikh, has stated that the league will initially own the first four teams, with four more teams planned for next year. He hopes that these teams will eventually generate significant returns through auctioning. Additionally, the league plans to introduce unique rules to cater to cricket audiences.
Mumbai’s first pick in the draft was right-hander Karan Patel, who previously became the first player of Indian descent to be drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2017. Patel spent the past season with the Billings Mustangs in the independent Pioneer League.
Bartolo Colon, the 2005 Cy Young Award winner and four-time All-Star, was selected 16th overall by the Karachi Monarchs. He retired in 2018 after a 21-year major league career, with his final season played with the Texas Rangers.
Robinson Cano, who played for the Atlanta Braves last season, had an illustrious 17-year career. He batted .301 with 335 home runs and won a World Series title with the New York Yankees in 2009. Cano proudly posed in his new Dubai Wolves uniform for Baseball United’s social media on draft day.
Didi Gregorius, 33, was chosen as the third overall pick by the Wolves. The infielder, born in the Netherlands, played 11 years in the majors, with his most recent stint being with the Philadelphia Phillies from 2019-2022 after five seasons with the Yankees.
Pablo Sandoval, also known as “Kung Fu Panda,” was selected fourth overall by the Abu Dhabi Falcons. During his 13-year career, Sandoval played a crucial role in the San Francisco Giants’ World Series victories in 2010, 2012, and 2014. His last appearance in the major leagues was with the Atlanta Braves two years ago.
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons, 34, was chosen by the Mumbai Cobras. Simmons, who won four Gold Gloves and the Platinum Glove in 2013, played for the Atlanta Braves during his National League career.
Steven Moya, 32, was the second pick for the Karachi Monarchs. Moya played for the Detroit Tigers from 2014-2016, batting .250 with five home runs and 11 RBI.
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