Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Yulieski Gourriel Declared A Free Agent


Yulieski Gourriel, an infielder that defected from Cuba this past December, has recently been declared a free agent in MLB.

Gourriel is considered by many to be the best position player in the World. His batting line of .500/.589/.874, to go along with 15 home runs, in just 49 games last season in Cuba was incredible. Yulieski's triple-slash of .305/.349/.536, with 11 home runs, in 62 games while playing 2014 in NPB is pretty darn good, too. 

However, I'd like to see what he could do in MLB before making the claim of him being the best in the World. Something that goes right in line with my thinking about the hits record.

But anyway...

There are some problems with signing Gourriel though.

For starters, he just turned 32 years old. Don't get me wrong, the age alone is not the problem. The problem is he could very well get the largest contract ever by a Cuban player, which would be above the 6 year/$72 million contract agreed to between Rusney Castillo and the Boston Red Sox. That would mean he'd be signed into his upper 30s, and those type of contracts rarely end well.

Secondly, his true positions are second and third base. Sure, he may hit better than either Starlin Castro or Chase Headley, but the fact of the matter is he's not necessary. Chase is signed for two more years, while Starlin is signed for at least three more (his deal includes a club option for 2020).

Yes, the team could try either Gourriel or Headley at first base, but that would likely mean Greg Bird's future with the team is over with. And I'd like to see if he could build off of his great 2015 with the big club, as I'm sure the team would due to him costing a heck of a lot less than Yulieski would.

You might say the Yankees don't have to worry about money, and generally I would agree. But saving $12+ million a year would go a long way in trying to sign possible upcoming free agents like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.

Basically, the probable cost of Yulieski Gourriel, combined with the fact that his position is not a need for the Yankees, makes me believe the team should pass on him.

However, if he's willing to sign for four years instead of six, I may very well change my tune. 

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