The cat was out of the bag as the Houston Astros announced the team would be holding a press conference on Saturday. The Astros and general manager Jeff Luhnow were announcing the signing of signed Cuban infielder Yulieski Gurriel.
El Yuli was in Houston today to meet with the media. #Astros pic.twitter.com/rQ0ioUS3Jm— Houston Astros (@astros) July 16, 2016
Gurriel, 32, is a 6-foot-0, 190-pound infielder from Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. He last played in 2015 with Industriales in Cuba's Serie Nacional and batted .500 (87x174) with 20 doubles, 15 homers, 51 RBI and a 1.463 OPS (.589 OBP/.874 SLG) on the season.
Gurriel has played mostly at third base but has seen time at second, short, first base and center field. He is expected to start at Double-A Corpus Christi and arrive in the majors by month's end if not by August.
The Astros did not disclose the terms of the deal with Gurriel, but MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez already reported the deal was five years, $47.5 million.
As part of the move to get Gurriel on the 40-man roster, the Astros announced the team had designated Matt Duffy for assignment.
Duffy, 27, was a 20th round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft out of Tennessee. He had spent parts of the last three seasons in Triple-A with the Astros, getting called up for short stints with the major league club the past two seasons.
Duffy was the 2015 Pacific Coast League MVP, batting .294 with 94 runs scored, 29 doubles, 20 home runs, 104 RBIs in 127 games.
Duffy was batting .226 (60x266) with six home runs and 30 RBIs in 74 games with Triple-A Fresno in 2016.