Are the Houston Astros still in the Lourdes Gurriel hunt?
One of the biggest questions we get at Climbing Tal’s Hill is whether we are going to change our site name? First of all, no we are not! We are choosing to honor the memory of Tal’s Hill for Houston Astros fans. The next most asked question has to be about Lourdes Gurriel and whether the Astros will sign him? That is a great question that no one knows anything about at the moment.
The Astros signed Yulieski Gurriel to a five-year deal worth $47.5 million dollars to play in Houston. Back then, there was mutual interest between Lourdes’ agent and the Astros at the time of Yulieski’s signing. When Gurriel was declared a free agent in August, it was assumed by some fans that the Astros and Lourdes would wait till his 23rd birthday in October.
By waiting till after his birthday, he would be available to all teams, not just the 20 teams that still had room to sign him. Once he turned 23, he would no longer fall under the guidelines of the international bonus pool. While it was originally believed that his birthday was October 21st, it was reported by Jake Kaplan and others that his real birthday was October 10th.
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Should he have signed by now?
Either way, is it surprising that we have not heard any progress towards a deal with anyone and Lourdes? What is causing the delay? Are the Astros still in on Lourdes? If the Astros did sign him, where would he play? There are so many questions out there. I wish I knew the answer.
As we talked about on Talking Stros, Lourdes’ agent could be trying to wait out the market to get the best deal for his client. The Cubs and Indians battle in the fall classic, but who will battle the Astros for the rights to Lourdes? All we know is that he held a showcase back in September where most of the teams got to see his talents.
Patience my friends!
There could be a deal out there, but a team could be waiting till the conclusion of the World Series. However, there is a chance that nothing gets done until the winter meetings in December or later. I asked one of the local writers if it was weird that he hadn’t signed yet. Here was their response. “Not weird at all. What’s the rush? Spring training doesn’t start until February.”
Until then Astros fans, let’s be patient and let the process unfold. If the Gurriel’s are serious about playing together in the big leagues, Lourdes will sign with the Astros. If not, time for plan b. Last night, the Astros voided the contract of Cionel Perez. A reason was not given, but Jeff Luhnow most likely had a reason to do so.
While it’s not guaranteed to sign Lourdes, Jeff Luhnow has made a big investment into international free agents. Most names that hit the market, the Astros will make an attempt to sign that player. Luhnow sees international free agents the same way he sees regular prospects. You accumulate as many players as you can because not all of them will be stars.
***Contract info from Baseball-Reference***