Curaçaoans Jair Jurrjens and Ozzie Albies will participate in the Dominican Winter League or the Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana (LIDOM), which will start in October. Jurrjens has signed a contract with the Tigres del Licey, Ozzie Albies has signed a deal with the arch rival of the Tigres del Licey: Aguilas Cibaeñas.
For Jair Jurrjens, the participation in the Dominican Winter League will be a new chance to attract the attention of Major League Clubs. After an impressive World Baseball Classic, he was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers who placed him on their AAA roster. But during the season, Jurrjens was caught for the use of PEDs, resulting in an 80 game suspension.
After a couple of injury-riddled seasons, Jurrjens found his groove in 2015 as he participated with team Kingdom of the Netherlands in a series of practice games vs Japan. During the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Jurrjens pitched a total of 11.1 innings in which he posted an ERA of 2.38, struck out nine, gave up three earned runs, had a WHIP of 1.41 and earned one win.
Ozzie Albies will continue to play after the MLB season. Albies has signed a deal with the Aguilas Cibaeñas. After his MLB debut for the Atlanta Braves on August 1, Ozzie had a slow start. But during the month of August, he started to adapt. Before August 19 he had a lot of games without a hit but from August 19, Ozzie only had one game without a hit. His two best games came on August 25 and 26. In the first one, he went 2 for 2 with a double. On August 26 he went 3 for 4 with a double and a triple.
The winner of the Dominican Winter League will advance to the Caribbean Series in which teams from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela participate.
The Tigres del Licey are by far the most successful team from the Dominican Republic with 22 national titles and ten Caribbean Series championships.
The Aguilas Cibaeñas is a close second with twenty national championships and five Caribbean Series championships.