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GM Sandy Alderson: Mets to work out Cuban IF Yulieski Gourriel

NEW YORK -- Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said team officials plan to work out Cuban defector Yulieski Gourriel, who has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.

ESPN's Jim Bowden reports that the Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Houston Astros also are interested in the 32-year-old infielder. The Mets have lost David Wright, potentially for the season and beyond, after the captain underwent a discectomy and fusion to address a herniated disk in his neck on Thursday.

"We're going to do our due diligence on that player," Alderson said Tuesday about Gourriel. "So we've made arrangements to do that. At the same time, this player hasn't seen live pitching for weeks if not months. It's not clear how long a player in that situation would take to be ready. And, of course, there is the investment and all the other issues -- and making an evaluation currently of the player based on workouts and not game competition. But we're going to go through that process."

The Mets have not participated in the market for players directly from Cuba during Alderson's six-year tenure as general manager, but the team is now getting more serious about that route.

Alderson said the fact that Gourriel might take time to ramp up for major league competition should not be considered a disqualifier, as the trade market should be thin until next month anyway. Gourriel would require a multiyear contract.

"I wouldn't want to put too much emphasis on the next three weeks," Alderson said. "I know they're important. But if we felt there was a solution where we had to sacrifice a few weeks in return for something substantially longer, that tradeoff might be worthwhile. So I wouldn't rule anything out simply because somebody can't make the contribution until the middle of July or late July when the [trade] deadline would occur."

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