In July of 2019 the Cincinnati Reds, fresh out of the international signing penalty box, went big and signed Michel Triana to a bonus of $1.3M out of Cuba. He didn’t play in the 2019 season, and was set to play in 2020 but the Minor League Baseball season had never began. He was then set to join the Reds in Goodyear for instructional league, but issues arose with getting his work visa through in time and he remained in the Dominican Republic where he continued to work out.
It’s been a long time since Michel Triana has played in competitive games. He played in a handful of games in the Cuban National Series as an 18-year-old in the 2017/2018 season. But he’s about to get back on the field as he will be playing in the Panama Winter League to gear up for spring training. He’ll be joining the Águilas Metropolitanas.
League play will begin on January 8th, but will only be 12 games and there are only three teams participating in the league this season as one team – the defending champions – has decided not to participate this year. All three teams will play at the same stadium, Rod Carew National Stadium. After the “regular season”, the team with the best record will get a bye in the “playoffs” and the second and third place teams will play a semifinal round before the winner plays for the championship against the first place team. The champion will then represent Panama in the Caribbean Series, which will take place in Mazatlan, Mexico this year.
The Caribbean Series will take place from January 31st through February 6th. It will feature the champions from the winter leagues of Mexico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. Cuba will not participate in 2021 for the second consecutive year. The champion will be determined by the team with the best record in a round-robin tournament.