For those wondering why Cuban free agent Yulieski Gurriel was photographed wearing a Dodgers cap at Dodger Stadium last night, it’s not because he has signed there. But Gurriel did take part in a private workout for the club, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group.
Of course, the Dodgers won’t be alone in pursuing a player who is by most accounts the best of his generation from Cuba. The Mets reportedly also have a workout scheduled, and Hoornstra reports that at least one other team does as well.
Gurriel recently turned 32, so he’s not in the middle of his prime. But he has long drawn praise from scouts as a polished all-around performer, and his market promises to be fascinating to follow now that he has been declared a free agent. Gurriel not only hits for good power, but has immaculate plate discipline and a quality glove at third or even second base.
We’ve heard chatter in the past about international signings essentially functioning as trade deadline additions, and it hasn’t generally turned out that way. Such an impact may be more plausible than ever in this case, though, since Gurriel is considered a fully-developed and top-quality talent and given the timing of his entry onto the market. Still, though, he’ll surely need a ramp-up period and at least a brief run through the minors, so it’s quite a different matter to add him than it would be to trade for a player directly off of another major league roster.
It remains difficult to guess how things will shake out for Gurriel in terms of both price tag and landing spot. MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk recently broke things down, discussing the Dodgers but also several other clubs as prime possible contenders for the Cuban star’s services.
Shocking development The Los Angeles Dodgers of Cuba held a private workout for… You’ll never guess….. Cuban Gurriel.
I can’t believe it!!!
What does it matter to you? Is it your money? Is it your team? Cry!
Even if he needs four weeks to get ready, it’s still much better than trading too prospects for someone in late July. Mets need to take the risk.
Dodgers and Mets make the most sense to me if he can play solid 3b
Mets Indians imo. Indians need to spend some money if they want to stay relevant in that city.
The Los Angeles Guayaberas
I wonder where his younger brother is going to end up….
I believe his last name is spelt “gourriel” as well. I remember him from the WBC, this guy is going to contribute at the mlb level
Dodgers may be one of the few teams that can afford him?
As with many Cuban players, the spelling has shifted.
I keep hearing about the Dodgers youth movement. How would that look if they signed a 32-year-old who will need time in the minors?
Youth movements generally happen progressively.
Unlike most July deadline trades and many other free agent signings, he he Dodgers wouldn’t have to give up prospects to get this guy. It is very much part of a youth strategy.
And if they get him, that does tend to undermine your argument that the front office is trying to get by on the cheap. As you said about the Giant strategy the other day, this would be an example of “seeing your opportunity and taking a shot.”
The same could be said about any free agent signing, and the raw truth of the matter is the argument against signing free agents and going young should apply in spades to this player. But then I am not the one making that argument, so I am wondering how those who do make this argument would react if the Dodgers did sign Gurriel.
Blue, many free agent signings will cost a team a draft pick, right? So the Dodgers got a pick for losing Hanley, Greinke, etc., and the teams that signed them lost those picks. The Dodgers lose nothing but money when they sign an international player, so I’m all for it. At very least they can trade him, as they did with Olivera.
The Dodgers now have the 4th best record in the NL, by the way. You say they’re a last place team without Kershaw. Well let’s take Bumgarner away from the Giants and see where they end up? Bottom line: the Dodgers have a great shot at their 4th straight NL West title, or at very least the top wild card slot. He Giants are not going to play .625 ball he whole season, so I’ll take the Dodgers is they can manage any kind of increase in offensive production. The pitching has been top notch, even without considering Kershaw.
Some free agent signings cost a draft pick. A great many don’t. But in any event, the question I am asking is getting lost entirely: I am not at all opposed to the Dodgers going after Gurriel. I am just wondering (still) how those who argue that the Dodger have to get younger would react to signing a player at that age, especially since you know it would have to be for at least two years, more likely three or four. Shades of the much criticized Alex Guerrero contract, only more risky?
The 4th best record, yeah that’s wonderful, and only after winning five straight. It sounds like you will be happy with another bridesmaid finish. Last I checked, the Dodgers’ record in non-Kershaw starts was still more losses than wins. It might be closer to breakeven now but even if that was the case it tells you something about the top of this rotation and how they could be expected to perform in a postseason.
Before I get in the car to drive the stadium this evening to watch the ultimate youth movement, I checked the record. In Kershaw starts the Dodgers are 14-1. For all other starters, their record is 26-32. That’s a .448 result, which would be good for 4th place in this division as of today.
Take away Cueto’s 11-1 record and you’ll see a similar result for the Giants. Enjoy the game. I’ll be watching from Seattle, as I do every night.
The sarcastic attitude towards the “youth movement” seems misplaced considering Seager, Thompson and Pederson have been the Dodgers’ best hitters this season, while the veterans have largely disappointed (Crawford, Kendrick, Ellis, Gonzalez, and – until recently – Turner and Grandal).
After tonight the Dodgers have a better record at this point in the season than they have since 2012. Not bad for a team that struggles to score 3 runs most nights.
FWIW, not so similar. In games by starters other than Cueto, the Giants are 20-18 (.526).
-He’d only spend time in the minors in order to get his timing back, get into game shape, etc.
-Spending money to add impact veterans means that you save your prospects. This fuels — not hinders — the youth strategy.
-Have we been watching the same Dodgers team this year? Because the youth movement is jaw-droppingly apparent. Seager is in at SS and Trayce Thompson has emerged as a bonafide starting OF’er. We’ve promised at least seven starts to Urias — an emerging star who can’t even legally buy a beer for a year and change. And now it looks like Joc Pederson has begun to stabilize, as he’s on pace for a 3 fWAR season in just his second year.
So, yeah, what am I missing here?
The youth movement is apparent with Seager, Pederson, Thompson, and Urias. Not only that Montas and DeLeon are close. My question becomes can he play OF and second. This move only works if they can bounce him around at multiple positions.
What you are missing is the recurring debate about whether the Dodgers should plug gaps in their roster with quality free agent signings, this often being the difference between teams that advance in the postseason and the ones that don’t.
I’m surprised there isn’t more talk about the Indians wanting him.
They probably do but he’s on the other side of 30 and probably command a pretty signing bonus and more years than their comfortable with.
Cuban rumors and signings are relatively new, but MLB Trade Rumors could delve deeper analytically, instead of just reflexively. I’d love to see the breakdown of price vs. productivity on all Cuban signings.
It feels like, reading these rumors everyday, Cespedes and Puig are superlative outliers, and not much comes from this news.
Like you said, these signings are relatively new. There are still many young guys in the minors that could end up paying off. So, it might be too early to do a useful analytical study. As of right now, the there are some hits and misses. Abreu, Cespedes, Chapman, Contreras, and Jose Fernandez are some of the hits from guys who defected from Cuba. Guerrero, Arruebarrena, Olivera, and Castillo look like some misses. So, the results appear to be mixed as you would expect.
Great reply, Christo14. Appreciate it.
Jose Fernandez was not signed as a intl free agent. He was drafted
True, but he was a cuban defector. It still speaks to the talent that has come out of Cuba. The only reason he was drafted was because he defected to the US way back in 2008 and enrolled in school.
Since 2014, the Dodgers have $81 Million in sunk costs to Olivera ($28M signing bonus), Arrubuena ($25M signing bonus and salary) and $28M (bonus + salary) to Guerrero. This is an expensive game of hit or miss for the Guggenheim group and I haven’t even counted the current 2016 IFA Cuban signings and penalties the organization incurred for going over their allotted amount..
Let the Cubans reign and let the money rain.
Surprise Surprise! The Dodgers spending more money on Cubans (not yet in this case). How has spending big on almost every Cuban worked out so far? They keep spending big on Cubans, but the team stays in the same place. You can even say they’re getting worse. That much payroll going to waste is a shame
Their payroll is like $230 million this year… You really think the money going to these Cuban players is affecting anything? If they wanted to add somebody, they would (with or without the Cuban $ on the books). Paying Carl Crawford $20 mil to go away is a bigger shame.
Crawford’s golden handshake was worth $35M.
I’ve gotten pm’s about racism, and that was not my intention. I understand Cuban signings are a sensitive subject. I am interested in cost analysis and baseball productivity. I’m interested in sheer numbers in MLB. Again, I think MLB Trade Rumors could do better analysis in this field, but it’s clear why they don’t. I know there are racial overtones, and that is understood. I do understand. Sincere apologies to everyone offended. I did not mean it that way. My thoughts were toward statistics, not the color of anyone’s skin. Bless you and apologies again.