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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

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MLB: Toronto Blue Jays-Media Day
Lourdes Gurriel
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays signed Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to a seven-year $22 million contract this winter.

Lourdes played all the infield spots and left field in the Cuban National Series. The Jays haven’t suggested what position he might end up at, but I’d imagine he’ll see time at second, third and left field this spring, and some short too. He’ll likely be playing one of those spots in Buffalo, unless we have a few injuries and he has a very good spring.

A right-handed hitter, Gurriel had great batting stats in Cuba. Last season he hit .344/.407/.560 with 10 home runs, 21 walks and 23 strikeouts in 59 games. What he would hit in the majors is an open question. ZiPS projects a .267/.324/.422 line. I’d take that in his rookie season.

The questions is:

Do we see him in the majors this year?

I’d imagine we will, as long as he isn’t awful, we would see him in September, at very least.

The rest depends on how well he plays and the health of everyone in the starting lineup. If Devon Travis ends up missing some time, and Lourdes is playing well, I don’t see any reason he shouldn’t be in the majors. Same if Josh Donaldson needed a few days off.

Left field? Well, it isn’t all that hard to imagine that any or all of the potential left fielders come up some short of what we could like to see at the position. If Ezequiel hits like he did in the second half of 2016 (.194/.242/.272) and Melvin Upton hits much like he hit for Toronto at the end of last year (.196/.261/.318) and if the team continues to think Dalton Pompey can’t do the job at the major league level, it’s possible Gurriel being the next in line.