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Sons of Cuban baseball legend leave island

Victor Mesa Jr., Victor Victor Mesa hope to sign with big league team
MLB.com @JesseSanchezMLB

The sons of legendary Cuban manager and player Victor Mesa have left Cuba to chase their big league dreams, according to sources.

Both Victor Victor Mesa, 21, and Victor Mesa Jr., 16, will pursue a contract with a Major League team. Because of their age and experience, the Mesa brothers, both outfielders, will be subjected to the international-signing guidelines.

The sons of legendary Cuban manager and player Victor Mesa have left Cuba to chase their big league dreams, according to sources.

Both Victor Victor Mesa, 21, and Victor Mesa Jr., 16, will pursue a contract with a Major League team. Because of their age and experience, the Mesa brothers, both outfielders, will be subjected to the international-signing guidelines.

When the brothers will become eligible to sign is unclear, but it's very unlikely Victor Victor will become eligible to sign during the current 2017-18 international signing period that ends June 15. He could become eligible to sign during the next period that starts July 2 or the following period that starts July 2, 2019, depending on when he is declared a free agent. Victor Mesa Jr. is expected to sign sometime during the period that starts July 2, 2019, once he is cleared.

Among the top young prospects in Cuba, Victor Victor Mesa is considered an outstanding defender with a strong arm. He's also a plus runner and scouts like upside and pedigree. He made his debut for Matanzas in Cuba's Serie Nacional, the island's top league, at 16, and had three hits, including two doubles, in seven at-bats for Cuba during last year's World Baseball Classic.

Victor Jr., a star for Cuba's 18U national team, is a switch-hitting outfielder with hit potential and a decent arm.

Victor Sr., who played almost two decades in Cuba's Serie Nacional starting in the late 1970s and was a star outfielder for the Cuban national team, managed in Mexico as well as for the Havana Industriales and Matanzas in Cuba. He managed Victor Victor during the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Their departure marks another significant blow to baseball in Cuba. Back in February 2016, brothers Yuli Gurriel and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., members of the first family of the sport on the island, defected. Yuli signed a five-year, $47.5 million with the Astros that summer and made his big league debut in August. Lourdes signed a seven-year, $22 million deal with the Blue Jays in November 2016 and made his big league debut April 20.

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.