December 1926: Cardinals trade 2B Rogers Hornsby to Giants
In 13 seasons with St. Louis, Hornsby batted .359 with more than 2,100 hits, and he recorded the final out of Game 7 of the 1926 World Series by tagging out Babe Ruth on an ill-advised steal attempt. But Hornsby's contract talks with the Cardinals fell through, and the club dealt him to New York for pitcher Jimmy Ring and another star second baseman, Frankie Frisch. A future Hall of Famer, Frisch was an MVP winner in '31 and helped the Cardinals win two more World Series championships. Hornsby briefly returned to the Cardinals for part of the '33 season, and only Stan Musial has since exceeded his WAR for the franchise.
Players attempting to play in MLB often choose not to defect to the United States, because establishing residency in the United States means they must enter the MLB Draft . If they defect to another nation, they can become free agents , allowing them to choose their offer.  The largest contract given to a Cuban defector is outfielder Rusney Castillo 's seven-year contract with the Boston Red Sox , signed in 2014, worth $ million.  First baseman José Dariel Abreu signed a six-year contract worth $68 million with the Chicago White Sox in 2013.  The largest contract given to a pitcher was the $32 million the New York Yankees gave to José Contreras in 2002,  while the Cincinnati Reds signed Aroldis Chapman for $ million in 2010.