clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cuban free agent Yulieski Gurriel is stirring the market

The 32-year-old wears many hats.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Any day, the question quickly becomes, "What hat is Yulieski Gurriel wearing?"

The answer an be found on his Instagram account. Over the past few weeks, Gurriel has been working out for a variety of teams, all of whom see value in the 32-year-old Cuban third baseman who hit .305 for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars from 2014-15 and slashed .500/.589/.874 with 15 home runs for the Industriales in 2015.

Already during workouts, he has appeared wearing the colors of the Dodgers, Mets, and Astros; and, most recently;

Naturally, Gurriel's stirring up a lot of interest. The sun rose on July this morning, meaning teams got that much more desperate to supplement playoff-hopeful rosters. The Dodgers need all the help they can get to push runs across the plate, as do the Yankees. Both teams have options at third base right now in Chase Headley and the white hot Justin Turner, so it becomes something of a chess match to see where Gurriel would fit into some of these teams Presumably, a lot of them just want to get a closer look at the guy and figure out the rest later.

Like the Giants, for instance, who have both Matt Duffy and Joe Panik in Gurriel's presumed slots; though both are currently injured, they are still employed. The Astros are experiencing low output from their third base position, yes, but obviously Jose Altuve has second covered, and they have a small contingent of hot corner options available in their farm system.

Any one of these teams could start shifting players around, forcing square pegs into round holes and infielders into the outfield if they really had their hearts set on an acquisition of Gurriel. As he can play multiple infield and outfield spots, there isn't as much concern about blockage. But according to Ken Rosenthal, the best fit for Gurriel at the moment is a team that seems to be on their way out of contention:

The most logical suitor for Gurriel remains the Mets. He could play third in the absence of David Wright, then move to second next season if Neil Walker departs as a free agent. Gurriel also could move to second if Wright returns in 2017, or remain at third if the Mets prefer to go with second-base prospect Dilson Herrera.

Gurriel is one of Cuba's most favored players, and defected from his native country with his 22-year-old brother, outfield prospect Lourdes Gurriel Jr., last February after the Caribbean World Series. It's been said that the older Gurriel may need a few dozen minor league at-bats to calibrate himself, but should be on an MLB roster by August.