Reunited Contreras Family Arrive in N.J.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ Yankees pitcher Jose Contreras and his family landed in the New York area Thursday, two days after they were reunited in South Florida.
The family arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport shortly after 4 p.m. and left without addressing reporters. Contreras lives at an apartment in New Jersey during the season.
Contreras’ wife, Miriam Murillo, and the couple’s two daughters, Naylan, 11, and Naylenis, 3, defected to the United States from Cuba on Monday. They gathered together Tuesday in Miami Beach.
The family’s departure was delayed by a day because of an immigration paperwork problem.
The Yankees were in Baltimore on Thursday. Contreras was expected to rejoin the team Friday and then start Saturday at Yankee Stadium against the New York Mets.
Asked whether he would closely monitor Contreras in that upcoming game, Yankees manager Joe Torre said, ``We’ll keep an eye on him.″
Contreras’ wife and daughters were among 21 Cubans who left Cuba on a 31-foot speedboat Sunday evening, U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Robert Montemayor said.
Contreras, once was touted as Cuba’s top baseball star, defected in October 2002. After he established residency in Nicaragua and became a free agent, the Yankees signed him to a $32 million, four-year contract. The Cuban government denied his family permission to leave the island nation.