By Gem Tablak
Good friend of Yoenis Cespedes, Yuliesky Gourriel has established free agency & it’s being said that the Mets slugger is encouraging the team to sign the 33 year old Cuban 3rd baseman. Some writers & insiders are hinting that if Gourriel does end up signing with the Mets, it would almost be a sure shot that Cespedes would fulfill the rest of his contract instead of opting out the first year.
Gourriel defected with his younger brother Lourdes, who is said to be a spectacular shortstop & will probably end up getting a very big contract before its all said & done. However, being that older brother Yuliesky is 33 years old, he’ll more then likely get a much shorter deal, I would say a maximum of 3 years. Some people are suggesting that the Mets thinktank would rather make a move by signing a player like Gourriel rather than trading away any of the Mets, young & coveted talent.
During his last season in Cuba before him & his brother defected, Yuliesky played 35 games & had a slash line on .488/.569/.858 while striking out just one time, remarkably. The Gourriel family is very well respected in Cuba & it’s said that they are close with the Castro family, so after 15 years of playing professionally Cuba, it came as an extreme shock that the Gourriel brothers made this move, especially the older Yuliesky, who some look at as an icon in Cuban baseball.
So are the Mets prepared to make a serious bid for the Cuban 3rd baseman? Or are they simply just throwing their name in the mix to give off the perception to the media & fans that they are seriously interested. Either way, I do hope the Mets make a serious bid at this dude but I’m saying that now, not really knowing his asking price or the competition between teams for his services once the real negotiations begin.