SUNDAY: Gurriel will become a free agent at the conclusion of his contract, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports (Twitter links), even though the infielder will be short of the standard six years of Major League service time. The Astros (or whichever club controls Gurriel after the 2020 season) can issue him a qualifying offer, provided the QO still exists in the new collective bargaining agreement.
SATURDAY: The Astros have officially announced the deal.
FRIDAY: The Astros have agreed to a five-year, $47.5MM deal with infielder Yulieski Gurriel, Yussef Diaz of PelotaCubanaBlog.com was first to report. The 32-year-old infielder makes for an interesting pre-deadline addition for the streaking Houston franchise.
Whether or not Gurriel will make a major impact in the present season remains to be seen. That’s not due to developmental considerations — he has long been considered a top-flight talent who is more than ready for the majors — so much as the need for preparation. Gurriel hasn’t played competitively since the end of the 2015 season in Cuba’s Serie Nacional.
His most recent performance, though, only heightens the intrigue surrounding his MLB arrival. Long a star in the top Cuban league, Gurriel topped his own standards in a season for the ages. Over 224 plate appearances, he recorded a hit in exactly half of his at-bats, took 38 walks while striking out just three times, and knocked 15 long balls en route to a .874 slugging percentage.
Then, there’s the question of how the ’Stros will deploy Gurriel. The organization already has a superstar combination up the middle, with Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve, which would seem to make Gurriel a fit at third. But highly touted shortstop prospect Alex Bregman is pressing for a call-up, and he too would seemingly command a spot on the left side of the infield.
It’s certainly possible that Bregman will beat Gurriel to the majors, as he is obviously already in mid-season playing form. But if the two both vie for time this year, it seems that Gurriel will be the choice at third, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that Houston sees him fitting at the hot corner. It’s impossible to imagine the Astros dealing Correa or Alture, while Bregman would be untouchable for anything short of a top-end, controllable starter, so there seems to be a bit of a logjam here. Either the youngster or (perhaps more likely) the veteran Cuban could ultimately end up in the corner outfield — whether this year or in the future.
Regardless of how that’s sorted, Houston obviously expects Gurriel to bring not only smooth glovework but also a big bat with him to the majors. Gurriel has spent most of his career knocking around Cuban pitching with a 1.000+ OPS. He did spend some time in Japan, though, which also helps to guide expectations. In 258 plate appearances in the top-level NPB back in 2014, Gurriel slashed .305/.349/.536 with 11 home runs and 40 punch-outs to go with 15 walks. That’s certainly excellent, but it’s not quite the superhuman output that he’s run up in his home nation.
The five-year term of the contract will include the present season, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports (via Twitter). Gurriel is set to earn $3.5MM for that partial campaign, with salaries of $14MM, $12MM, $10MM, and $8MM lined up for the four years to come.
Houston has been in the process of ramping up its payroll after cutting it to the bare minimum in 2013. The club sat at $96.9MM as of Opening Day of this year but will now push past $100MM for the second time in franchise history (back in 2009). But with the league flush with cash, and the Astros turning out a compelling product on the field, that number continues to rise.
Notably, the ’Stros had been committed to less total future spending than they just promised to Gurriel for the 2017-2020 campaigns. Houston was obligated for less than $20MM next year, another $8MM in the following campaign, and only a $500K buyout to Jonathan Singleton for 2019. Even with Gurriel on board, and big arbitration raises lined up for players like Dallas Keuchel, George Springer, Collin McHugh, and Will Harris, the Astros ought to have plenty of payroll flexibility to work with.
Wow, talk about a wild card. Good for Houston, hope he lives up to his hype.
Wow. Not the team I expected and more money than I expected.
Perhaps they feel he’ll play in the outfield? They are losing Gomez and Rasmus in the offseason. Also a backup plan to Bregman. Also lets them use the DH to rest their infielders more regularly.
You have so much more flexibility with the DH spot so im sure they can make it work one way or another if he earns it
ya hes going to be an outfielder first baseman. LF in Houston is pretty easy. But like you said its more than just Gomez walking. A lot of their starters are leaving, but its the ones who arent very good and are carrying 8 to million or more a year contracts. He is a bat they can put somewhere. Combine that with Bregman not hitting arbitration for 3 years, you can start committing money to sign Keuchel, Springer, Correa longterm.
As a Houston fan, I’m concerned this blocks Bregman. I hope we rotate him between DH/3B. I also hope this means we can move Valbuena or Marwin somehow.
I don’t think there’s such a thing as blocking a top 5 overall prospect. They’ll figure it out.
Tell that to Jurickson Profar. Any team that didn’t have Elvis Andrus would have promoted him before the Rangers did. Of course he has become injury prone since he was a top 5 guy, but that is irrelevant to whether he was blocked or not.
And trea turner^
Good point. Although Turner was more of Espinosa coming out of nowhere and surprising everyone instead of just being blocked by an Andrus extension.
Absolutely true he was blocked in a different way I mean, since most would agree that his numbers and prospect status warrant a starting job in the majors right now.
May I also add Joey gallo
I dont think this effects Bregman at all. This is more about all the players they arent going to resign in the offseason and it being such a poor free agency market. Bregman and Yulieski essentially fill the void of Gomez and Rasmus/Valbuena. At a fraction of the cost.
Gurriel is a solid addition. I think he will eventually be our left fielder but I could see him getting time at first this season. His glove is valuable so I expect Bregman will get his chance to hold down third but if he falters Bregman will be in the outfield.
I wonder what this means for Bergman. No obvious spot for him to play in the infield. I wonder if they think he can play CF? Or he could be part of a deal for a SP. Package him for Sale if the Sox decide to sell?
Thanks for the laugh with your Sale comment.
In what way would a package around Bergman not get you Sale? If, and i emphasize if, the white sox decide to cash in, that would be one of the stronger packages to get him. It isn’t like is said they would trade him for Tehran…
He would be a stellar key cog in a package for Sale.
Bregman would be a solid headliner if Sale became available
Keith Law just named Bregman the number one prospect in baseball, I dont see it outlandish to build a package around him.
If I were the astros and I was ok with trading Bregman, which I highly doubt they do because he is cost controlled when Kechuel, Correa and Springer all get very expensive…. id package Bregman and Mccullers together. I dont believe Mccullers is a starter anymore. Id bet money Michael Feliz makes more starts over the next 2 seasons than Mccullers.
McCullers has been dominate since coming back from the DL. He is a young controllable top of the rotation arm. Not sure you have been watching much Lance McCullers baseball but watch his next start you will see he is the only pitcher in the rotation throwing in the high 90’s. He ain’t going anywhere.
Roadapple what are you talking about? Bregman would be. Great headliner for any Sale package. No one suggested one for one but you laugh at him being a headliner in a prospect package? Wow.
very interesting indeed!?! I think AJ reed or Bregman could be on the block for SP and/or RP help.
I dont see them trading for pitching…. unless its for a left handed reliever. Possibly Jake Mcgee or something. But unless its a blockbuster name… i doubt it. I could only see them trying for Lucroy or something. The team is pretty solid all around, and they gave up a good amount of prospects the past 12 months.
I like the Stros approach and would love to see them pass the Strangers and completely knock them out of the playoffs. Bregman is a legit prospect. I doubt he makes a splash this year, but could see him in the Bigs next year.
I don’t think there anyone available that would fetch Bregman or Reed tbh. The White sox look like they are still lying to themselves about contending. Gray is doing terrible and I doubt Beane would move him anyway, the Braves want an irrational amount back for Teheran and he isn’t in the same tier as guys the pa large could fetch. I can’t imagine trading either of Bregman or Reed for bullpen help but if they did, it’d probably be from the Yakees.
Strange deal for the Astros. Seems like too much money for a 32 year old who’s never tested the MLB.
As an aside, can someone explain why this website is so dead these days? I remember there being hundreds of comments made per big story. Now the most a story gets is 20. What happened? Where did everyone go?
It was right around the time they changed the commenting system
Why would the change in the commenting system turn tons of people away?
Yeah my comments only get posted about 50% of the time, and I have not said anything bad, all I said was that it was funny an adult gets so angry with a 14 year old on a site like this.
I still miss Disqus.
Same. Those were the days.
I dont think its too much money. The Astros are paying Colby Rasmus 16 million dollars in this season…. he is a platoon bat. The way they value wins is probably at around 7.5 to 8 million for one win above replacement…. they break even if he posts 7 WAR over that contract.
When they stopped reporting rumors. Every post is a column by someone, a roster move or someone being injured.
There are no more whispers.
it’s a better deal than the 6 for 62 the Dodgers gave to Olivera. this guy has been better and didnt have the medical questions Olivera had.
Yeah, Mets don’t need a 3B, right? Alderson never gave this guy a thought. We still need a 1B
maybe Bregman can play LF. I really hope Gurriel pans out.
Bregman isnt moving for Gurriel. Gurriel is going to be playing LF, if Bregman isnt traded for a legit top 10 pitcher in baseball..
He could be another rusney Castillo
Well he already isnt because Castillo cost 72.5 million and never had the track record.
Bregman and Reed for Miller and Eovaldi?
Make it happen Cash!
was going to type something, but realized it was already 5 oclock in new york. You must be drunk.
Bregman alone should bring Miller and Eovaldi and even that is weak for Bregman…
Bregman alone should bring more than just Miller.
That’s basically what he said.
Ah, your baseball knowledge must come from video games. That’s an awful trade scenario.
Bregman isn’t going anywhere. The Stros are going to develop a player for him to become a star somewhere else. The franchise is smart, they will not sacrifice the farm for one season. Miller is very expensive, we already have an overpaid setup guy (Gregorson).
This is definitely a 2017 move. The Astros are pretty certain to let 2 of their starting outfielders walk and Luis Valbuena… not to mention their catcher. This really means Gurriel is going to be playing LF or first base.
This really has no effect on Bregman. Gurriel at this price, for the really poor free agency market this off season is a great move by the Astros. But he isnt playing 3b or 2b.
Stros will resign Castro. Dude calls a fantastic game and is the best at pitch framing in the game. His bat is easily overlooked because of everything else he brings to the table. I expect something 3 years 25 mil with an option for a 4th for Castro. Overpaying a bit? Yes, but a leader behind the dish is important.
Really surprised that it was the Astros signing him. Like many of the comments above, I thought Bregman would be on his way up soon. Could still happen…
Yulieski needs at least 100 abs in the minors right now.
Seems like an arbitrary choice of at bats… He might need 10, or he might need 200. Nobody knows – especially people that haven’t scoured him…
No way Bregman gets traded,they’ll make it work somehow. Speaking as a Braves fan though with Teheran out there I really wish Dave Stewart was the Astros GM
Houston go get Andrew Cashner. He is a lot better than his record shows.
Andrew Cashner is simply not good and has not been good for years not to mention he lives on the DL. He is a china doll that you cannot count on and is worthless. And when he does pitch he gets rocked! He is not good.
Oh, well. The White Sox missed a chance to pick up a long term core piece without having to sacrifice any organizational assets other than cash. Perhaps this is an indication that they are focusing on a CF as the trade deadline approaches, rather than a potential corner OF bat. Time will tell.
You do realize he’s 32, right? Not much of a long term plan… Although, for Kenny, that’d be an improvement still.
5-6 years in MLB is a long time. He could easily become a stall wort like Adrian Beltre and play until he is 40.
You must have a unique definition of “easily.”
Unproven in MLB these guys don’t deserve these big deals coming from other countries
He’s proven himself in Cuba. It isn’t your money and if the Astro’s think this gives them the best chance of winning, why do you care.
Fair points, although their signing him sets a high market value for a 32 year old third baseman. It could easily impact the fans of another team that wants to sign someone similar.
Says a guy who is probably also a racist.
In what way would they not ‘deserve’ them.
Heads up, but not just the US is good at baseball now. A lot of these leagues easily play at double A level skills wise.
….this looks like a Rays/Astros trade. just the type of player the Rays would target. Archer to the Stros??
Doubt Astros want Archer at this point but maybe sonny gray?
Why would the Astros trade him when they just signed him? Why would the Rays trade Archer for him when they could’ve just signed him and kept their ace?
Well one thing that nobody has mentioned, this could also get the Astros his brother. They love prospect’s and he wants to play with brother,so this could be a huge get regardless.
People just keep assuming the Astros love the idea of placing Bregman at 3rd….potentially negating a good portion of his value as a hitter in the middle infield.
The fact of the matter is, Altuve and Correa are going nowhere and Bregman has much more value to another team as a shortstop.
This has trade written all over it and that draft choice couldn’t have worked out better for them. He came in and destroyed the minors quickly, became the top prospect in 1 year and they are going to get a massive return on investment there in the form of a trade.
your post makes a lot of sense.
Bregman isn’t going anywhere. His glove
Braves could deal Julio Teheran and Nick Markakis or Arodys Vizcaino for Lance McCullers, Alex Bregman, and Daz Cameron.
Hey man, stop. Thats wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much for Teheran, Markakis and Vizcaino together.
Stros get the best part of the deal Top ten MLB pitcher and potential closer. Braves get prospects and a dead arm.
You are smoking crack if you think McCullers is a dead arm…. Apparently you haven’t seen him pitch. LOL
If he is a “dead arm,” then why would you want him on your team? Not to mention the fact that Bregman is not needed on the Braves due to the presences of Albies and Swanson. I know the Cubs have trained people to think that you can never have too many shortstops, but you still can have too many shortstops.
If McCullers has a dead arm then why do you want him? I also never knew someone could consistently throw 96mph with a dead arm, also with probably about 180 Major League innings under his belt. Please do everyone a favor and never propose a trade again.
Don’t want him, just need a starting pitcher to go through the motions. He was listed as the fifth starter. Any would do for the Braves.
Asros are not trading Bregman period. Braves fans need to stop kidding themselves they’re gonna get another Shelby Miller type trade for Teheran. Astros front office aren’t idiots. There’s no Dave Stewart to deal with here. And this is coming from a Braves fan.
How does Markakis even make an appearance in the consideration of this deal?
Markakis has three years on his contract. Top five in hits over last two years. Cheap option for next several years as none of the prospects will be ready. Vizcaino is offered if relief is a greater need.
Teheran isn’t a “top ten MLB pitcher” – Kershaw, Sale, Fernandez, Strasburg, Bumgarner, Arrieta, Syndergaard, Scherzer, Cueto, Greinke, etc.
As for Markakis, he has a 0.2 WAR and a terrible contract.
Lol. McCullers is a “dead arm” while Teheran’so average fastball is down almost 2mph this season.
And Markakiss has 2nd basemen pop and arm at a corner outfield spot on a crap contact.
Methinks the guru might be a little too much in love with the 3 decent players on the Braves
Teheran is ranked third in WHIP in MLB, ahead of many of the men you listed.
Nothing like cherry picking a random stat to attempt to prove your point…
can I have some of what you’re smoking?
What in the actual hell is wrong with Braves fans?
Maybe Bregman for Tehran and other pieces. Bregman has insane value right now.
But Markakis stinks so no one wants him. Sorry Braves fans. You are stuck with him
The Astros log jam goes beyond just Bregman don’t they have Moran hitting well in the minors too? Do they view Moran as a failed prospect already, Fontana is also their not doing well but still have to imagine he has value. They also have JD Davis tearing up AA, This seems a lot like the Twins signing of Byung Ho Park just creates more problems than the upside is worth.
There is a pretty massive difference between a logjam of position players on an actual MLB team and a team with a lot of good prospects in the minors at one spot.
Also a massive difference in 50 million and 25 million. Kepler was still a prospect at the point of the signing too, not exactly a log jam that was just at the MLB level. Everyone who looked a year ahead saw the Park signing was bad just like this signing.
Wtf is wrong with Braves fans? Good lord
so, in the 5 year deal, i would assume 2016 would have to be one of those years, right?
so, in reality, its a 4 and a half year deal?
Here is my guess. Gurriel reports to Quad cities and then moves through the system slowly until September call ups. Bregman comes up and Valbuena slides to 1st with Marisnick or Reed going down. Feldman and Felder get traded for low level prospects and/or cash and free up 40 man roster spots. Otherwise they stay quiet at the deadline unless Miller and/or Chapman can be had with out giving up too much.
That’s the most plausible scenario. I’ve seen some comments that McCullers, Bregman, amongst others are now avaliabe for trade with this signing, as long as the return is a top SP (Tehran or Sale).. I think people may have missed that the Astros have the best record in baseball since late May. Springer, Altuve, McCullers, Bregman, Reed aren’t going anywhere. Feldman and Neshek are trade chips for prospects, more than likely lower level prospects in order to make room for Bregman and now Gurriel. Somehow Andrew Aplin is still on the 40 man roster, he may get DFA. This move is for next year with the expectation that Bregman or Gurriel can play LF. With Fister, McCullers, Kuechel and McHugh I am not certain an upgrade at SP is needed with Devenski in the pen and Feldman for now. Who knows with Fiers?
Rasmus, Valbuena and Gomez come off the books next year. That’s $30million in payroll gone. I anticipate Castro will be back, Astros will more than likely overpay for him, but yea, CF is still a question mark for 2017. Springer and Marisnick can play there, but Springer should stay in RF and Marisnick is a defensive replacement. All in all, paying $12 million for a starting 3b or LF, essentially replacing Rasmus for less, seems to be what I think the thought process is…
I mean, Bregman, McCullers and Musgrove for Tehran and Markakis! For all Braves fans out there, I wouldn’t give up Bregman for Tehran straight up at this point. Ask for Gallo and two prospects from the Rangers and be happy with that return.
Teheran and Sale don’t belong in the same conversation…
The Adrian Beltre
As a Rangers fan, aw crap. But… this guy has been the best of his generation in Cuba, and I am excited to watch him in the major leagues. It is a shame that we missed most of his prime years, and will with Despaigne as well(if we see him at all). Also, looks like the Astros could have a new prime trade chip, and will soon have holes at two OF spots and C next season. Possibly Bregman for Lucroy and Braun? Other properties changing hands as well, OF COURSE. Or they could hold him until that unexpected ace/bat hits the market… Or they could just keep him and Profar him around the infield. Either way, good players for discussion, interesting scenario for the Astros overall, lots of talent in Houston…
Disgusting that the Mets didn’t sign him. The dollars here are nothing compared to the potential dominant bat and the gaping hole the team has at 3b. Wilpons, please sell the team, you’re losers.
Stro’s will not trade bregman if they are smart , they have numerous top tier prospects that can be bundled with the likes of gattis / gomez / rasmus for a 4 for 1 trade for someone like sale but having said that sale is not going to houston so moot point. GO STROS.
You don’t get a pitcher like Sale without dismantling your farm system or giving up young, controllable MLB talent. So unless you plan on parting with Correa or Altuve, Bregman would ABSOLUTELY have to be in the deal (and then add another 3 or 4 TOP prospects).
Only one Ace is truly available. That is Julio Teheran. Who will get him for the final two month run? Rangers or Astros? Whoever wins the Teheran sweepstakes…wins the division. Plus the Braves are willing to fill other needs with its best, including Freeman in my opinion.
Tehreran is so overrated!
Another 3 hit shutout performance today!
Really hoped the mets would have signed him
Is this guy honestly even going to contribute? I doubt it… Few years ago this was a smart move. Now idk
ATL isn’t going to trade Teheran unless it’s an over pay! I am a Braves fan and would actually like them to keep him.. But if a team were to offer a Miller type package (not saying that is going to happen), then Coppy will buy the plane tickets!! With that said, to all the Teheran bashers, turn on the TV when he pitches, he is a #1 starting pitcher.. Throws 92-93, with great control and mound presence, young and controllable on a very team friendly contact.. And NO, I don’t think he is as good as Madbum or Sale..
I hope some day cuban players could play in MLB without to resign to be cuban!
Bregman is set to make his MLB debut, at MMP July 22nd against the Angels, and he will be starting at 3rd base!!
Gurriel, and the stros found out today, that it might take till mid August to get him on the field over this damn work visa!!
Not that any Astros fan cares, about the mixed reviews of the signing!!
Besides the fact, he past up more money to come to Houston!!
We will ultimately sign his 22 year old younger brother, that might have more upside then he does, because they have never been a part, and don’t want to be a part, and both want to play together!!
As for trades, let every one else blow up there farm system, unless we can get sale, or a archer/Tehran type for a good deal for both sides, because we do have a lot of 3rd basemen/infielders in our top 30, that we can trade without missing!!
I’d personally rather kick back, and trust our talented farm!!
This team has had a solid line up, even before Bregman, and Gurriel step foot on the same field!
plus at least 1 of our top 3 arms in Francis Martes, David Paulino, and Joe Musgrove, should end up being a great starter, maybe all 3!
If we need extra help in the bullpen, or a pitcher for a late innings situation!!
We got that too, in James Hoyt, and lefty bat killer Brendan McCurry!
I think they are the real reason why, the Astros are ready to trade some of our veteran bullpen arms!!
Also I got to see a Hooks game, and see left hander Reymin Guduan pitch! He’s a stud!!
His only issue, was his control! Very wild!!
But He’s calmed it down a lot, and still throws consistently in the triple digits!!
Oh yeah Jandel Gustave, another flame thrower!
So our bullpen should be in good hands with our own home grown group!!
Just be patient, cause we saw what trading for kazmir got us, and outside of Fiers no hitter, that trade hasn’t been that great, basically a guy barely making it as a 5th starter, and a hot head, who bats .220, and bat flips, all 5 of his homers in 80 games!!
2 reasons right there, that should have fans wanting to develop our own group!!
I think this action in signing Gurriel is a bit of gamble for the Astros but obviously they have different beliefs. I would love too see this in action, does anybody know when he is arriving in Kissimmee Fl at the Astros spring training center? I’m pretty sure he’s got to have at least 80-90 at bats in the minors before he makes his MLB appearance.