Free agent and former Cuban star Yulieski Gourriel has finished private workouts for teams and will likely begin direct contract negotiations soon.
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that Cuban sensation Yulieski Gourriel has finished his series of private workouts for major league clubs. He lists the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, and New York Yankees as the clubs who took a closer look at the 32-year-old free agent infielder.
Yulieski Gourriel had previously confirmed his workout for New York in Tampa by posting a picture of himself in Yankees gear having just done some hitting on his personal Instagram account.
There have been conflicting reports about how seriously the Yankees are looking at Yulieski Gourriel in the weeks since he was granted free agency by Major League Baseball. Brendan Kuty of NJ.com cited a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking that claimed Gourriel’s contract would be too rich for the newly-frugal Yankees’ blood.
More from Yankees Rumors
- 4 former Yankees players New York can still reunite with in free agency
- 4 blockbuster trade targets that could be Yankees next ‘big’ move
- MLB Network Radio host thinks Yankees should shell out for Dansby Swanson
- Did wild Max Fried trade rumor give Yankees perfect fallback plan?
- Yankees’ reported backup plan if Carlos Rodón falls through will crush Red Sox
On the other hand, fellow beat writer George King of The New York Post maintains that the Yankees are indeed serious contenders for Gourriel’s services.
Adding an expensive veteran bat to a free agent contract does seem like a long-shot given the recent direction of the team, but given the recent rumblings that ownership doesn’t want to give up on winning this year, it can’t be ruled out. Especially if Yulieski Gourriel doesn’t command the same huge salary as other recent Cuban imports.
The Yankees seem to have two things going for them. One, fellow Cuban national Aroldis Chapman reportedly gave Yulieski Gourriel a glowing report of his time in the Bronx. Chapman told Brendan Kuty last month that Gourriel would love to play for the Yankees. The other advantage New York seemingly has is that they’ve long been Yulieski Gourriel’s favorite team, and currently employ his favorite baseball star, Alex Rodriguez.
The chance to don the pinstripes and play alongside A-Rod could could act as a nice tiebreaker, but the bottom line is that they will have to pony up a good amount of money if they want to win the Yulieski Gourriel sweepstakes.
With Mark Teixeira, Aroldis Chapman, and Carlos Beltran‘s contracts coming off the books, will Hal Steinbrenner be willing to get his offseason shopping done a little early? We should know soon, as Gourriel and his agent should make their decision in the coming weeks.