The Mets are internally weighing the options of bringing in Cuban third baseman Yulieski Gourriel. Gourriel, who was declared a free agent on Monday, is 32 years old.
While there are a number of reasons to be cautious about the move—his age and paying someone to play David Wright’s position even though Wright is signed through 2020—the numbers he has put up in Cuba have been quite impressive thus far. His career line of .335/.417/.580 is eye-catching, but translating Cuban statistics to the Major Leagues is, at best, an educated guess.
We know that Yoenis Cespedes is in favor of the move, and an anonymous former Met told John Harper of the Daily News that it is a good move, for whatever that is worth. Harper also raises the question of his age being accurately attributed, a fairly common problem with Cuban players in the past. As he points out, if he is listed at 32, but is really 34 or 35, a three- or four-year contract all of a sudden looks much worse.
If the Mets think Wright’s playing time going forward won’t be substantial enough to block making a move like this, it seems like a reasonable enough move if the contract is on the shorter side. The asking price for an everyday third baseman on the trade market might be high, so this is one way around giving up one of their pitchers or a top prospect to obtain one.