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Gourriel doesn't defect - Brewers scouting top Latin talent

I found this link on a different site, so don't trust my Spanish-English conversion, but it says that stud Cuban infielder Yulieski Gourriel, along with Eduardo Paret, have defected. Unfortunatley, the story also says something about Gourriel being linked to the New York Yankees:




If you watched the WBC you got to see just how impressive Gourriel was. Big-time bat speed, Sheffield-like. I wrote this about Gourriel in one of my PG columns after the WBC:


Gourriel?s talent is extremely evident, as he just looks like a big-leaguer. Watching him hit reminded me of a young Gary Sheffield, as his bat whips through the strike zone and everything he makes contact with goes a very long way in a very short amount of time. He played a little bit of third base and a little second base in the classic, and I don?t see why he couldn?t be tried at shortstop. If Gourriel defects, and after showcasing his stuff on the international stage I?m sure that becomes a strong possibility, look for him to sign a contract possibly surpassing the one Jose Contreras inked a few years ago.


Speaking of international signees, the Brewers so far according to reports have not signed any of the major names on the market after making a big splash in last year's market. The Nationals, Yankees and Mets have spent big so far, with the Yankees and Mets signing two big-name catchers (the Yankees dropped $2 million on Jesus Montero).


There are several good players still available, including SS Carlos Tuinfel, who you know is good just for the fact that he's represented by Scott Boras. After last year, I would really like to see the Brewers remain active in the Latin market. Gourriel would be incredible, but he could garner a generous big-league deal possibly near what Jose Contreras got a few years ago.

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I would imagine the splash of signing Gourriel would far surpass the Mercedes and Pascual signings.


What kind of money are we talking (I don't know what the Yanks threw at Contreras)?


What time of year did we sign Pascual, Peralta, et al, last year?


I know there was a thread (I think in the Minor League forum) about the Latin American free agent talent available this year, but couldn't find it through page six. An assist would be much appreciated.

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I took a peek, and I couldn't find that thread either. It might have been hidden in a different thread with a confusing title. I don't even remember when it was posted.


Pascual was signed in September, but the international signing period ends at the end of August. Not sure if there is some flexibility actually signing players officially on the dotted line or if the signing date deadline changed this year.


The Yankees signed Contreras for something like 4 years, $22 million, out-bidding the Red Sox at the time for his services. I don't think Gourriel would command that kind of money, but he probably will land more than Kendry Morales did (6 years worth as much as $10 million). Signing Trunifel would far surpass the Pascual/Mercedes/Peralta signings. Signing Gourriel would dwarf them.

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I think you are underestimating how much loot this guy could rake in. I remember reading an article during the world baseball classic about how he could easily get a ton more than even contreras, and that he was a better prospect than matsuzaka--who is widley rumoured to be posted this offseason at a price of $20+ mil just for the rights to negotiate with him. Combine that with the fact that he is 21 and it adds up to pin stripes.
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Thanks for providing that link, although it sounds like almost every team in all of MLB was there. If notable execs from the Brewers were there, that could mean one or both of the Team Canada duo.


EDIT: Actually, if you go to the blog where that report originally comes from, you will find this report (as well as a more definitive mention that Gourriel did not defect as originally reported):




The Brewers will be trying out several top names in the next week, including the two Boras position prospects, Triunfel and Villalona.


Truinfel is a five-tool shortstop and Villalona (whose name hasn't been confirmed from what I've heard...see below) is an exciting power-hitting third baseman. here's some notes on them from Baseball America (I beleive this link is free for all):




Another big name involved is Scott Boras, the agent whose domestic clients so often are major factors in the draft. Boras takes much the same approach to Latin America as he does to the draft, signing only a few players his talent evaluators consider to be elite talents. The player he represents generating the most talk this year is infielder Carlos Truinfel, a shortstop with a large body at 6-foot-2 and present offensive potential. Boras also represents righthander Jose Luis Areas, a 6-foot-8 righthander who Boras said already throws in the low 90s, and third baseman Carlos Villanoa, though he said they were still waiting on paperwork to determine the proper spelling of Villanoa's name.


"We call him Big V," Boras said jokingly. "What I do know is he is the best third baseman we've seen in the Dominican since Adrian Beltre," another Boras client.


The writer of Global Baseball also has this to note on his blog (the last part is the part of interest):


I got the chance to see one of Scott Boras?s Dominican clients in action a couple of times over the last week. RHP Jose Luis Arias is a legit 6?8?. His fastball sits in the 91-93 range and tops out at 95, and he reportedly has a slider in the 89-90mph range. I know, I?m skeptical too, and didn?t have the benefit of watching the gun while he was warming up, but that?s what I?ve been told. I won?t say which team is involved, but a signing may be close.


Some exciting developments, and it's nice to hear the Brewers specifically involved, especially since both the Yankees and the Mets have already dropped big money on a few Latin players.

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So is there any way the Brewers can compete with these other teams to sign either of those players? That would be pretty cool.


Why not? The Brewers dropped over $700K on Pascual last summer and followed that up by signing Peralta for something like $500K. They had a lower draft slot this past June that may have allowed them to save an additional $500K or so off of their previous draft budget, and seem intent on proving that they are players on the Latin American free agent market.

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I wanted to bump this thread up having found an interesting story from ESPN Deportes from early July that lists some of the top Latin players:




Of the players listed, the only two that remain unsigned are the two Boras clients: 3B Angel Villalona and SS Carlos Truinfel. Boras also represents a Dominican RHP, Jose Luis Arias, who stands at 6'8" and throws in the low-90s with a wicked slider that has been clocked in the upper 80s. Arias is already 19 years old, and is somewhat of a late bloomer. You know the Brewers love tools, and pointed to Pascual's height when they signed him, so it could be a potential match.


Plus, as noted above, the Brewers reportedly were trying out some of the better Latin players including the Boras clients. Truinfel and Villalona reportedly were expecting to get at least as much as last year's top signing, who checked in at $1.4 M. The universally believed top signing this year is Jesus Montero, who signed for $2M with the Yankees, so I don't think either of the Boras clients will get more than that. Esmeily Gonzalez, who signed with the Nationals, signed for $1.4 M, and it's believed the Nats outbid teams like the Rangers by a good half million.


Balbino Fuenmayor reportedly got the third highest bonus, just around $1M.


Plus, there are 5 Cubans that have defected outside of the original Gourriel report (who didn't defect). RHP Segei Linares, SS Yohannis Perez and RHP Yoslan Herrera are the top 3 players of the 5. Linares is well built (6'4", 225) with a low to mid-90s fastball. Perez is a slick fielding SS with a line drive bat similar to the Mariners Cuban SS (Betancourt?), and Herrera throws a low-90s fastball and a splitter, and reportedly could pitch in a big-league bullpen right now.


So, there are six fairly big names left out there. Hopefully Team Canada can go out there and nab one or two of them.

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Big problem with Cuban defectors is getting a realiable age


yes and no...big league stuff at age 19 means that they have AAA stuff and 21 years old. But that still doesn't mean they don't have talent. The concern is with the 30 year olds

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The Giants reportedly have signed 3B Carlos Villalona for $2.1 million, more than the $2 million the Yankees gave Jesus Montero. Here's a link to a translation from a Spanish version of the story from ESPN Deportes:




Villalona was one of the Boras represented Dominicans. Carlos Truinfel and the really tall pitcher whose name escapes me (it's listed above) still have not signed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Balbino Fuenmayor, one of the top Dominican sluggers available, has signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. He reportedly had already signed with the Indians, but those reports were false:




As the story notes, Carlos Truinfel, a big, athletic switch-hitting shortstop who is represented by Scott Boras, is still available. I belive the international free agent signing period ends today, so we should be hearing about the last few big names in the next few days.


Keep in mind, the Brewers reportedly worked out several of the top players. If I had to guess, the Brewers scouting staff found that the Latin players were asking for too much money, which is possibly why they were able to re-direct their attention and sign RJ Seidel.


Then again, they may be completely unrelated http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif .

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  • 4 weeks later...

Carlos Truinfel, the last, big-name Domincan Republic player available on the international free agent market, has signed with the Mariners:




I believe all of the Cubans that defected late in the summer are still available, but otherwise I must say I'm rather disappointed with the Brewers lack of activity, at least with some of the bigger names available, after making it seem they would be plenty active after last year's relatively big-name signings (Pascual & Peralta).

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I hope you're right, but what would be bigger than a big Latin American signee at this point in time? Tucking it away in the event that Chad Robinson and/or Lee Haydel explode as DFE candidates next spring? I don't know, they still made it be known that the signing of Rolando Pascual at this time last year was supposed to be a sign of things to come.
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