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Astros sign free agent infielder Yulieski Gurriel

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The Mets had been mentioned as a potential landing spot for the Cuban defector, but a long-term deal was not in the cards for New York’s front office.

South Africa v Cuba - World Baseball Classic - Mexico City Day 1 Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Houston Astros have signed 32-year-old Cuban free agent Yulieski Gurriel to a five-year, $47.5 million dollar deal, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reports. Gurriel had been mentioned as a potential fit for the Mets, but that option is now off the table.

The Mets had already indicated that they lost interest in the infielder, citing an oversized asking price—particularly the multi-year contract that Gurriel wanted. Additionally, Mets talent evaluators were reportedly unimpressed by Gurriel’s private workout with the team in St. Lucie on June 27. Gurriel represented a high-risk option to replace David Wright at third base, a risk that the front office was not willing to take.

Houston was willing to take the risk the Mets wouldn’t, much as they were when the Mets’ deal for Carlos Gomez fell apart at the trade deadline last year. Gomez has mostly disappointed as an Astro, while the Mets were free to pursue Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes himself advocated for Gurriel’s signing, but it appears the Mets were less enthused.

Jose Reyes will man third base for the foreseeable future. However, if he starts to slump by the trade deadline of July 31, the Mets may have to consider external options. With the Astros signing Gurriel, one potential option has been crossed off the list.