The Houston Astros won the Yulieski Gurriel sweepstakes, signing the 32-year-old Cuban infielder who had held private workouts for six clubs this month to a reported five-year, $47.5 million deal, according to MLB.com.
Former LSU shortstop Alex Bregman, who went 2-for-4 with a run scored in Fresno's 9-5 loss to the New Orleans Zephyrs on Friday, couldn't be happier.
"I think it's a good move," Bregman told The Advocate Friday before the Fresno Grizzlies game against the New Orleans Zephyrs. "The Astros got a guy who they think can help them win, and that's all I want to do.
"I just want to win with the Astros."
Bregman's opportunity to do so was seemingly imminent.
Gurriel's signing could complicate things.
A projected third baseman who has played for his native country in all three World Baseball Classic tournaments, Gurriel batted .500 with 15 home runs and 20 doubles last season in Cuba.
Speaking after a high-spirited card game inside the Grizzlies clubhouse, Bregman acknowledged he'd read the reports but had no plans to let it affect him.
"It's actually, honestly, pretty easy," Bregman said of zoning out the noise. "I'm just focused on playing baseball here, getting better and finding my way up there. I'm worried strictly about my performance and trying to find ways to win games with the Grizzlies."
"I love it. It's going to help the Astros win games. It's awesome, I'm happy."
A report from ESPN's Jim Bowden said the club was expected to call up Bregman as early as this weekend, though manager A.J. Hinch refuted that Wednesday on MLB Network Radio.
Gurriel's signing brings several possibilities. He will almost surely need minor league at-bats before going to the big leagues.
Bregman — who has a 1.009 on-base plus slugging between stints in Double and Triple-A this season — exists as a third base plug-in while Gurriel is in the minor leagues.
Luis Valbuena, the Astros' third baseman in 70 of their 89 games, can slide to first base.
Left fielder Colby Rasmus, who became the first player in Major League history to accept a qualifying offer this offseason, has slumped after a torrid start this season.
Chatter among national baseball reporters after Gurriel's signing suggested Bregman could provide a solution at that corner outfield spot.
"I've played outfield before, over the summers I'd catch and then go play outfield, catch and go play outfield, switch off every other game right before I came to LSU," said Bregman, a high school catcher.
Bregman has no preference.
"I don't care where I play, I really don't," he said. "I just want to go to the big leagues and win games."