NEW YORK -- Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said team officials plan to work out Cuban defector Yulieski Gourriel, who has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.The Mets need another big bopper in the starting lineup....badly. I say that if Gourriel is in shape and can hit major league pitching, you have to sign him.
ESPN's Jim Bowden reports that the Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Houston Astros also are interested in the 32-year-old infielder. The Mets have lost David Wright, potentially for the season and beyond, after the captain underwent a discectomy and fusion to address a herniated disk in his neck on Thursday.
"We're going to do our due diligence on that player," Alderson said Tuesday about Gourriel. "So we've made arrangements to do that. At the same time, this player hasn't seen live pitching for weeks if not months. It's not clear how long a player in that situation would take to be ready. And, of course, there is the investment and all the other issues -- and making an evaluation currently of the player based on workouts and not game competition. But we're going to go through that process."
The Mets have not participated in the market for players directly from Cuba during Alderson's six-year tenure as general manager, but the team is now getting more serious about that route.