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Cuban infielder Yulieski Gurriel declared a free agent

Cuba March

Students march carrying Cuban flags during a march against terrorism in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Youths marched today through downtown Havana in protest against the United States policy towards the island nation and demanding the that U.S. free three Cuban agents imprisoned there. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)


Jesse Sanchez of reports that Cuban infielder Yulieski Gurriel has been declared a free agent.
Gurriel, a 32-year-old third baseman, batted .535 with a 1.615 OPS and 10 home runs over 23 games last season in Cuba’s Serie Nacional and he registered a 1.009 OPS in 49 games the season before.

Gurriel has expressed interest in playing for the Yankees and has spoken with fellow Cuban Aroldis Chapman about what it’s like to play in New York. Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times tweeted today that the Dodgers have expressed interest. Not a shocker given how active Los Angeles has been on the market of Cuban free agents.

Here’s a scouting report on Gurriel from 2080’s Dave Defriates from a few months back. Short version: his bat probably plays in the bigs right now, but his defense can be erratic, even if he is generally competent at third . At 32 you figure that the defense will not improve, of course, so his window as a big contributor is likely to be somewhat narrow.