According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Toronto Blue Jays have inked Cuban infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Joel Sherman of the New York Post later added the deal will be a seven-year, $22 million contract that was agreed to this morning.
Gurriel Jr. is a six-foot-four, 205 pound middle infielder who also has experience playing the outfield. He showcased his abilities to play each position in his September showcase in Panama.
Both brothers defected from Cuba in February after the Caribbean series in the Dominican Republic. Gurriel Jr. waited until after he turned 23 to sign with an MLB team which excluded him from the international signing rules. This allowed the Blue Jays to sign him without having to use money from their allotted international bonus pool.
Gurriel Jr. slashed .344/.407/.560 in his final season in Cuba and is known for his approach at the plate. Many scouts have said he could project to hit 20+ home runs a year. However, the 23 year-old is considered to be a lesser player than his older brother Yulieski Gurriel who signed a $47.5 million deal with the Astros this summer. He will not make a straight jump to the majors like Yulieski, but he is nine years younger and has time to develop.
As per MLB.com's "Prospect Watch" rankings, Gurriel Jr. is listed at sixth.