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Yoenis Cespedes' family defects from Cuba

03/13/2013 3:34 PM ET
By Matt Hughes

Yoenis Cespedes enjoyed a successful rookie season in the Major Leagues.(AP)
Yoenis Cespedes' family has defected from Cuba. The Oakland Athletics' star outfielder celebrated with his newly arrived family over the weekend.  

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, Cespedes' mother and 11 other family members safely arrived in Miami on Saturday after a year-long journey. Cespedes flew to Miami to meet with his family on Sunday.

Cespedes was quiet and kept to himself during the A's AL West division title run in 2012, but he was elated upon hearing the news of his family's safe arrival, saying he was "very happy. So much happiness."

While some details of the family's journey are still unclear, they reportedly defected to the Dominican Republic a year ago before moving on to the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British overseas territory 600 miles southeast of Miami. The family had been seeking political asylum from Turks and Caicos before fleeing to Miami over the weekend. The 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act affords Cubans who safely reach the U.S. entry and the opportunity to apply for citizenship.

Cespedes' next goal is to be re-united with his three-year-old son who remains in Cuba with his mother. He has not seen his son since defecting two years ago. 

Cespedes signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the Athletics in February 2012 and hit .292 with 23 home runs and 82 RBIs in 2012. 

Follow Matt Hughes on Twitter: @hughesmatt

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