Yuli Gurriel still drawing interest from Astros
Just a few days ago, it seemed any chance of Yuli Gurriel returning to the Astros was all but buried. While Jeff Bagwell said at Fanfest the team would continue to monitor Yuli, it appeared the fan favorite was destined to join the Miami Marlins.
Not so fast after all. According to the latest from Jon Heyman, Houston may in fact be the landing place for La Piña after all,
First, Heyman reported that talks between Gurriel and the Marlins had simmered down. No longer was Yuli to Miami a sure thing. In a second tweet, he reported that Houston and Minnesota could be where Gurriel ends up signing, pointing out his supporters in both clubhouses.
As Heyman points out, Yuli has his share of support in Houston. Jim Crane has mentioned multiple times this offseason that they'd hope to bring him back and Dusty Baker stood by Yuli through all of his regular season struggles last year. He's beloved by the fans and has plenty of support in the clubhouse.
While it is believed the Astros prefer for David Hensley to step into a utility role over Gurriel, as Heyman pointed out, the Astros could find Gurriel at-bats. Yes, Houston signed Jose Abreu, a huge upgrade over Gurriel.
One knock against Houston's signing has been Abreu's age. By bringing back Gurriel, Dusty would have the ability to get Abreu frequent rest, be it a day off entirely or in the designated hitter role. And in an absolute pinch, he could potentially get infield work elsewhere.
We saw in October what Yuli could do when rested. His bat off the bench could be a massive asset for the Astros.
Of course, Minnesota is still involved and, while no longer a certainty, the Marlins can't be counted out as a potential landing spot. As Jeff Bagwell said, we'll continue to monitor all of the latest with Yuli Gurriel.