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Cuban Star Yuliesky Gourriel Defects

According to Will Carroll, Cuban third baseman Yuliesky Gourriel has defected.  I'll try to relay what I've learned about Gourriel, who is likely to become quite the hot commodity in short order.

Gourriel is approximately 21 years old.  At least, that's his reported age.  He's a third baseman but has experience at second as well.  Last winter he flashed immense power at the baseball World Cup with eight home runs in eleven games; he also performed well in the WBC. 

Baseball America indicates that Gourriel would certainly be a first-round pick if he came up through the American system.  A scout describes him as "a championship-caliber third baseman in the big leagues."  BA likens him to Chipper Jones or Ernie Banks as far as body type and gushes over his bat speed. 

Gourriel accomplished his defection via Colombia.  That country's Bogota Times said "it appears that his next destination would be the New York Yankees."

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The 21-year old (his listed age) 3B/2B defected from Cuba via Columbia according [URL="http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2006/07/cuban_star_yuli.html#trackback"]to MLBTradeRumors[/URL]. He's expected to b... [Read More]

Comments

Makes you wonder what the Yankees would do with him. Granted, he'd be a few years away from playing in the majors, but they're already committed to A-Rod, Jeter, Cano. I don't buy any speculation that any of those players will be traded. Now, if Yuliesky can play in the outfield...

Wilson Betemit to the Dodgers for Willy Aybar and Danys Baez

per BBTN

could be hype, but the WBC announcers said that scouts they talked to believed he was one of the top players in the world right now. He might not need to be in the minors long at all.

So was david Bell. He's gone to the Brew Crew!

As a Met fan, I have only one thing to say with respect to Gourriel: If Omar doesn't offer him an obscene amount of money, I will be extremely pissed. This madness revolving around second base in Flushing has to end.

Even bigger news. Braves send Wilson Betemit to the dodgers for Willy Aybar and Danys Baez. Good trade for both sides

Braves fans hate this trade. I understand why. Baez absolutely stinks in a big spot. Aybar does not have quite the upside Betemit does. Not an awful trade, but one JS clearly didn't prefer. He wanted Linebrink, but couldn't get em.

was385...
I must disagree with you,
the Dodgers-braves trade pales in comparison to Gourriel's defection. Gourriel is a 21 YR old superstar in the making that can play 3b-2b-SS. He will hit for AVG and power. He showed in the WBC he can compete with the world's best right now!! He will be starting for someone on opening day 07 and probably batting in the middle of the order

Yeah I was gonna say..with Gourriel we are talking about the sudden free agency of a 21 year-old future star. That is huge.

I think he'd be a great fit for the Mets.

Agreed. You know the Yanks will get in on it just because he'll want to play for them. They'd sign him and sort it out later.

i would start the 'cubs better get him!!' talk... but they have a tendency to pass on superstars and look for the mediocre..

What are the rules on signing a player in Gourriel's situation in the middle of the season? I'd guess it's not allowed (or even likely a good idea), but his defection being this close to the trade deadline has me curious about the rules.

"You know the Yanks will get in on it just because he'll want to play for them. They'd sign him and sort it out later."

And then Erik's head would explode...

Maybe Cano would be traded? I'd settle for Cano with marked bills. [obscure movie reference]

I think even though he's defected there's still a process for him to be added to MLB list of available FA. I'm sure he'll have to set up a permanent residence outside of Cuba. Meaning buy a house or live with someone in Colombia and then fill out some paperwork with the usual DOB, HT, WT, etc and send that into MLB. Then by the time all that is probably verified it'll be October or November so I don't think anyone can get him right now.

Though on another note...if he goes to the Yankees, just flippin' great. I'm tired of players going to the Yankees to WIN when they haven't won anything in 5 years. For once I'd like to see someone defect/post and not go to the Yankees/Mariners. El Duque, Contreras, Matsui, Ichiro and Jojhima. For once I'd like to see some team like the Braves or Giants get someone like him.

I think that sounds right CubFan; he's not in the U.S. right now.

ChiSox got Tadihito Iguchi. I don't remember the process on So Taguchi with the Cards. But yeah, I agree...it seems like Japanese players head straight to Seattle (or sometimes NY) and Latino players head straight for NY. I guess it's a comfort zone thing.

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