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Astros’ sign Cuban Yulieski Gourriel

Gourriel Escrambray via


Astros’s agree to 5 year deal with Gourriel

The Houston Astros managed to agree to terms with one of the best players to recently defect from Cuba, Yulieski Gourriel on a 5 year $47.5-million deal reports’s Jesse Sanchez.

Houston has plans to play Gourriel at 3rd base as soon as he is ready to go, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal stated this may come as early as 3 weeks but could take longer as Gourriel must resolve visa issues, leaving an exact timetable unclear for the Astros.

The 32-year old Cuban has worked out with several teams such as the Dodgers, Mets, and Astros before signing with the club. Last year Gourriel hit .488/.569/.858 with 11 home runs in 35 games playing for the Industrials in the Cuban league.

Gourriel burst on scouts radar at the 2006 World Baseball Classic, leading Cuba to a second place finish. He batted .273/.342/.515. Some scouts had predicted if he were eligible for the draft he would have been a first round talent. Others hailed him as the best Cuban player at the time.

Although with this signing the Astros have now muddied the waters around top prospect Alex Bregman. The Astros could move Bregman in a trade to help fill some of the holes on their roster or he could move to the outfield as both Colby Rasmus and Carlos Gomez are free agents after this season.