Last month Yulieski Gurriel, who is 32, signed with the Houston Astros in a deal worth $47.5 million and is working his way to the big leagues through the Astros farm system.
Yulieski hit .429 with 1 home run and 9 RBIs in just four games of Class A ball and will move to the Astros Double-A team this week and by next week is expected to make his major league debut.
Earlier this week, Lourdes Gurriel, who is just 22 and Yulieski’s younger brother, was given free agent status by Major League Baseball, which gives him the right to officially sign with any team.
Lourdes is currently in Panama training. He is expected to hold a huge showcase for all of the 30 teams in the league and hold private workouts over the coming months with times and places not yet determined.
Houston has been very open about the interest they have in signing the two Gurriels. Lourdes however will likely test the free agent market looking for his best possible deal.
Yulieski in an interview this week said he and his brother would like to play for the same MLB team so he could have his younger brother close to him. However, he added if for one reason or another that cannot be accomplished, then each of us will have to take different paths.
Lourdes will likely not sign in the near future for one big reason. Cuban players who are 23 years old or older and have played in a professional baseball league in Cuba for five seasons or more become exempt from the guidelines for international signings that are established under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which effectively makes them a free agent at the time they become eligible to sigh with a club.
Lourdes played in Cuba for six seasons. He will be 23 in October. He will not fall under the terms of the guidelines if he signs for a team after he becomes 23.
Therefore, he will have more leverage by waiting to sign when he turns 23 because teams then would not have to use any money from their bonus pool for international signees to sign him.
Lourdes is multi-talented as either an outfielder or infielder. He hit .321 with 8 home runs and 33 RBIs during 43 games this season for the Havana Industriales prior to defecting in February with his brother following the Caribbean Series that was held in the Dominican Republic.
The younger Lourdes has a good glove, is a fast runner, and has been projected as a center fielder or shortstop.