Former Astros utility player extraordinaire Marwin Gonzalez’s trip to free agency results in a move up north.
At long last, Marwin Gonzalez‘s stay on the free agent market is over. News broke on Twitter that the former Astro agreed to a two-year, $21 million deal with the Minnesota Twins. This comes despite Astros owner Jim Crane recently stating he was hopeful Gonzalez would return.
MLB Trade Rumors correctly predicted Gonzalez to sign with the Twins, though the contract terms came out differently. MLBTR predicted a four-year, $36 million deal for Gonzalez, so he beat the projection in terms of average annual value, but fell short on the length.
Gonzalez earned $5.125 million in 2018, so he will be earning a little more than double that amount per year across the next two years. His role in Minnesota will likely be similar to his role in Houston — an everyday Swiss Army knife.
Thanks to his unique versatility, Gonzalez could fit on essentially every MLB roster. He played all seven infield/outfield positions for the Astros in 2018 and received some MVP consideration in 2017 after posting a .303/.377/.530 batting line. He racked up more than 500 plate appearances in each of the last three seasons, so he was essentially a regular, albeit without a regular position.
Of course, his most well-remembered contribution to the Astros will be his game-tying home run off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in the 9th inning of Game 2 of the 2017 World Series. The Astros would go on to win the game in 11 innings, preventing them from falling into a 2-0 hole.
With Gonzalez out of the picture, the Astros will turn to trade acquisition Aledmys Diaz to be the utility infielder, with Yuli Gurriel and Tyler White seeing time at the corner infield positions. There’s plenty of depth in the outfield, with Michael Brantley joining George Springer, Josh Reddick and Kyle Tucker in the mix. Jake Marisnick and Derek Fisher remain on hand as additional depth.