By: Michael Ganci

Yulieski Gourriel, the Only Savior of the Mets?


The frequently injured David Wright has put the New York Mets in a dilemma because he will most likely miss the remaining games of the season after undergoing a back surgery to patch-up a herniated disc.

However, David has no plans of retiring even with the agonizing injuries that has affected his career of late. The management at New York Mets is obviously worried about the health of their captain because his contract expires in 2020. Apart from this, his situation brings up the problem of signing full time third basemen with David’s contract still in effect. Currently, the Mets are on a winning streak, and with their extremely cheap starting pitching, online MLB sportsbookshows that Wright’s team has a short spell to win the rest of their games.

In David’s absence, Wilmer Flores has played very well in his position in which he has already registered a .366 batting average as well as a .438 on base percentage in June. Even though Flores is one of the most outstanding bats in Mets roster, a .253 hitter in his entire career seems too shy in maintaining his current pace. Mets’ front office have already showed their interest for Danny Valencia, the third basement of the Oakland Athletics. Unfortunately, Oakland has many players on the disabled list, and they are not ready for trading any of the remaining because the team is undermanned.

A potential star may emerge in the free agent market without affecting the cost forecasts in a trade. Last week, a defector from Cuba, Yulieski Gourriel, qualified to negotiate a contract with any MLB club he desires. The player’s publicity has recently grown tremendously, with Yoenis Cespedes, the Mets player, saying that prior to his defection, Gourriel was the best player in Cuba. Both Gourriel and Yoenis have played together for five years in the Cuban national team where they began their long-term friendship. Gourriel has played for one and a half decades in his native country and Japan, slashing a .335 average with 250 homers.

However, many challenges arise with the signing of Gourriel. The 32-year-old is not young enough to compare himself with other latest defectors from Cuba who have already signed a MLB contract. As such, he needs a long-term contract, which Alderson is skeptical about because one-third of their basemen already have long-term contracts. Striking a new deal would make Cespedes to leave and create confusion in their starting pitching. Gourriel’s defected Cuba together with his 22-year-old brother, Lourdes Jr. Gourriel, who would prefer signing with the same MLB club as his big brother, which is a challenge.

After all, introducing an experienced bat like Yulieski to the New York Mets squad is a good move. Even though many people might not know how his skills will click with the MLB level, the Mets could risk with him to reap great rewards this season. Adding Yulieski to Mets lineup could influence their postseason push, and even with the return of Wright, both players could shift to play first base. To create space, the Mets might release Lucas Duda after the expiry of his contract at the end of the season.

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