Toronto Blue Jays Ink Cuban, Lourdes Gurriel Jr, to Multi Year Deal

 

According to multiple reports, the Toronto Blue Jays have locked up Cuban infielder, Lourdes Gurriel Jr with long term deal.

 

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

The Toronto Blue Jays have made an offseason splash in the early goings. It might not be the one we were expecting, though. Rather than jumping on one of their own impending free agents to kick off the offseason, they agreed to terms on a multi year deal with Cuban infielder, Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

 

 

Many people might be wondering just who this guy is. Well, he’s a 23 yr old who stood out in Cuba and played in Japan as well. After being declared eligible to sign as a free agent by MLB in August, teams have been paying close attention to him.

 

Here’s a quick rundown of his numbers since he was 16 yrs old.

 

Year Age AgeDif Tm Lg Lev G PA R H 2B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 16 -9.8 Sancti Spiritus CNS Fgn 16 16 2 3 0 1 1 0 1 4 .200 .250 .400 .650
2011 17 -9.2 Sancti Spiritus CNS Fgn 55 151 24 30 6 3 16 2 13 23 .227 .304 .341 .645
2012 18 -8.4 Sancti Spiritus CNS Fgn 67 244 25 55 12 4 32 1 18 35 .253 .318 .392 .710
2013 19 -8.5 Industriales CNS Fgn 45 184 26 31 6 1 17 5 36 23 .218 .379 .296 .675
2014 20 -6.8 Industriales CNS Fgn 63 258 36 68 11 8 42 7 28 28 .308 .388 .466 .854
2015 21 -7.7 Industriales CNS Fgn 59 245 43 75 17 10 53 8 21 23 .344 .407 .560 .967
All Levels (6 Seasons) 305 1098 156 262 52 27 161 23 117 136 .277 .362 .426 .788
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2016.

 

MLBTR had this to say about him: “Gurriel is primarily a shortstop but is also said to be capable of sliding over to third base, second base or the outfield. At 6’4″ and 205 pounds, it certainly seems possible that Gurriel will eventually have to move off of shortstop, given his size relative to his peers at that position.”

 

Baseball America had Gurriel Jr as one of the top prospects in Cuba In April of 2015. John Manuel of BA describes him thusly: ” He has shown above-average speed and defensive ability in the outfield, and scouts would like to see him give infield a try. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder has long arms and some holes in his swing as a result but also has shown above-average power potential.”

 

Here is a clip from MLB:

 

 

 

While Lourdes does not come with the same high profile of his brother, Yulieski Gurriel, he was still a player that many teams had their eye on. Back in mid-September, he held a showcase for a myriad of scouts (60-70 of them!) that comprised 2/3 of MLB. While teams like the Marlins and Astros (and the usual suspects) were often said to be interested, it is the Blue Jays who managed to sneak in and pull off a brilliant bit of dealing.

 

 

Rather than be exposed to international spending caps, etc, the Blue Jays waited until Gurriel came of age and swooped in. What is even more impressive are the terms of the deal itself. A 7 yr deal will take the player right up to his age 30 season. The club is banking on his prime years. Now, it very well could take him a couple of years to adjust to things, and whatnot. But, should he turn into even a solid, everyday type of player, this deal will end up looking like a steal for the Toronto Blue Jays. With a system that is flush with talent in the lower levels, this will provide the club with some upper level talent with good versatility moving forward.

 

 

 

*Featured Image Credit: udo.d UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0

 

 

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Shaun Doyle

Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.