cuba featureThat Super Bowl was pretty boring, wasn’t it? I know there were some interesting “stories” attached to it, but the game, itself, was pretty blah.

  • I’m sure that if you follow Cuban baseball with only a passing interest, it seems like there’s a “huge” defection every other week at this point (and, to some extent, because of the changing relations between the countries and the increasing dollars in the States, it’s actually true), so you may be numb to these kinds of revelations. But, no seriously: this is absolutely huge defection news. According to a report out of the Dominican Republic, as noted by Jesse Sanchez and Enrique Rojas, the brothers Gourriel – Lourdes, Jr. and Yulieski – left the Cuban team after the Caribbean Series ended and intend to come to the United States to play in MLB. Many consider Yulieski, 31, to be the best player in Cuba (he plays third base), and he would have immediate, significant impact in the big leagues. Lourdes, 22, is more of a prospect, but is thought by some to be a big-league-ready hitter, probably playing in the outfield. He’s a stud.


  • We’ll have much more on this as it evolves and more details are known, but whatever happens, if these guys come to the States, it’s going to have significant ramifications – they are that potentially impactful. The Cubs would not realistically be involved with Yulieski, but would presumably be in on Lourdes, who would be subject to international signing restrictions. Of course, if he doesn’t get clearance to sign before the current period ends (June 15), then the Cubs will not even have a shot at him. Then again, by that point, he might decide to wait until he turns 23 in October to sign, at which point the restrictions fall away and MLB’s normal free agent season arrives, which could increase his market. By the way, he’s going to be absurdly expensive.
  • Speaking of which: will this impact Lazarito’s impending decision? The 16-year-old Cuban prospect was expected to decide on a team soon and command a bonus upwards of $20 million. But the availability of Lourdes Gourriel, Jr. could change the calculus enough (financially) for one or two teams that they may want to pump the brakes a bit, which would force Lazarito, in turn, to slow down his own decision. We’ll just have to wait and see.
  • Did you miss anything this weekend? Catch up here.
  • I want to give Michael’s Ask Away another plug here in the Bullets in case you missed it this weekend. It’s good stuff, and you can participate with your questions (ask away at bleacher nation dot com) – he considers all kinds, apparently, including about my skillz as a boss.


  • The Brewers’ ZiPS projections are out, and they’re about as ugly as you’d expect, particularly in the rotation and the infield. And if the Brewers wind up dealing Jonathan Lucroy at some point, it’ll get even uglier.
  • You are reminded that the next season of MLB.tv will go on sale soon, so if you don’t want it to auto-renew at the older higher price, make sure you go into your account and cancel your subscription for now – then you can sign back up when the new season becomes available. More details here.
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