Astros Sign Sought After Cuban Infielder

Posted on 18 July 2016

In an effort to bring a big bat into the line up, the Astros make their most expensive free agency grab in 6 years.

Today the Astros agreed to terms on a five-year contract worth $47.5 million dollars with Cuban infielder, Yulieski Gurriel. Gurriel, 32, defected from Cuba in February with his younger brother in order to seek an opportunity to play baseball in the MLB.

A natural third baseman, Gurriel has represented for the Cuban National Team since 2003. He's accumulated one Olympic Gold Medal in 2004, one Olympic Silver Medal in 2008, two Gold & Silver Medals in the Baseball World Cup, three Gold Medals in the International Cup, and two Gold & one Bronze Medals in the Pan American Games. That's a lot of merit off the top for a free agent to step into the MLB.

He'll have to go through the minors to shake some rust off but it's likely that we'll see him in the majors sometime in August. The only question that remains to be seen is where will we see him. With Luis Valbuena becoming a free agent after this season, and the Astros calling up top prospect & fellow third baseman, Alex Bregman, it's not crazy to think the Astros can move Valbuena before the deadline. Gurriel is an athletic guy as well so there are some rumors indicating that the team will also try him in the outfield while in the minors, just to see where he's at. Hopefully his vision on the ball and instinctive reactions in the hot corner is exactly what our team needs not only for a mid season push but for the next few years to come. Here are his stats through 15 seasons, professionally in Cuba:

.335 BA
250 HRs
1,018 RBIs

In his last season with Industriales de La Habana he batted an outstanding .500 with 15 home runs in 174 at-bats.

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