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Will the Jays go after the Cuban brothers?

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Yulieski Gourriel
Yulieski Gourriel
Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Rick Westhead, at TSN.ca, suggests that the Blue Jays might go after Yulieski and Lourdes Gourriel.The pair defected from Cuba last week and will be looking for jobs in the MLB. There really isn't much more than speculation in the story. I think it is too early in the process for the Jays to know if they want to be in on the pair.

Yulieski Gourriel, Jr. is the older brother. He's 31. He wouldn't come under international signing rules, so he wouldn't count against a team's international signing cap. He's played third base for the past 4 years with his Cuban team, Gallos de Sancti. He's played in Japan, in 2014, in the Nippon Professional league and hit .305/.349/.536 with 11 home runs in 62 games for the Yokohama Bay Stars. You can check out his numbers here.

Lourdes Gourriel is younger, just 22. If a team signs him before his 23rd birthday, in October, it would count against the team's international signing cap. If he can wait until after he turns 23, he'll likely make a lot more money. He's played first, short, second and the outfield in Cuba. In Cuban National Series league play, he has hit .269/.355/.414 in 289 games, over 6 seasons, starting at age 16. His Baseball Reference page is here.

As Mike Bates, over at MLB Daily Dish, explains, it is unlikely we'll see either sign with a major league team in a hurry.

"Cuban players have to go through a lengthy ordeal to become free agents. First, they have to establish residency in another country. Then they have to wait for the commissioner's office to clear them to sign. Those are both time-consuming processes, though various folks involved in the handling of Cuban players have found that bribery can expedite matters.

Right now, there are more than 100 Cuban players off the island, many of whom are waiting for the commissioner's office to declare them a free agent. Take outfielder Jorge Ona, one of the best young Cuban prospects out there. He left Cuba six months ago and is still not cleared to sign. Randy Arozarena, another talented young Cuban prospect, went seven months between leaving Cuba and getting cleared to sign."

It seems like we are just at the start of a long process.

I can see the Jays having interest in the younger Gourriel brother, our minor league system could use some decent prospects. I think it is less likely they will go after the older brother, we seem to have enough players in their 30s now.