It's called Commie Ball, by Michael Lewis, and I have no idea how I missed its publication in the July '08 Vanity Fair.
It's a selection from "Best Sportswriting 2009" which series is an annual Christmas gift from my brother and which I always adore. This article is about Cuban baseball players/defectors, and still relevant for all sorts of reasons. I'm guessing that the book's version of the article is longer than the online/print version, though I don't know for sure. I'd recommend the longer version, if you care to buy the book.
It's relevant for Royals fans because one of the main antagonists in the story is Yuniesky Betancourt. He's not quite a villain, but his actions are unsavory and contribute to the imprisonment of a seemingly decent guy. I had never heard this story, and as Lewis tells it, it is illuminating and leaves a bad taste in my mouth about Yuni, the person.
Baseball fans will love the article. Royals fans will cringe at the message that Yuniesky's former manager in Cuba sends to him via a visitor: "Tell him I said, 'Don't smoke and don't blow it."