MLB free agency: Marlins, veteran first baseman Yuli Gurriel agree to contract, per report
The Miami Marlins and free agent Julius Gurriel, the first baseman, agreed to a contract. reports Ken Rosenthal. The terms of the deal were not immediately known and the deal is likely under review.
Gurriel, 38, spent the first seven seasons of his MLB career — after fleeing Cuba — with the Houston Astros, winning two World Series titles, a Golden Glove and a league title.
Last season, Gurriel hit .242/.288/.360 (84 OPS+) with 40 doubles, eight home runs, 53 RBI, 53 runs, eight stolen bases and -0.3 WAR. However, he looked like an old Gurriel in the playoffs, hitting in nine of 12 games, with five of those games being multiples en route to a .347 batting average along with two home runs.
For some reason, even the odd thing is going on in Gurriel’s career right now. That is, he had great seasons in 2017, 2019 (including 31 homers and 104 RBIs), and 2021 (including a .319 batting average), while he had bad years in 2018 and especially 2020 and 2022.
The Marlins will hope the trend continues.
After acquiring 2022 AL champion Luis Arráez, the Marlins are set to play him at second base and move Jazz Chisholm to center field in an attempt to maximize offense. Garrett Cooper was named first baseman along with Jorge Soler in the DH. It will be interesting to see how they plan to blend Gurriel. They could play Soler in the outfield with Cooper in the DH, although the outfield corner seats appear to be taken by Avizail Garcia and Brian De La Cruz. Most importantly, this is another positive result for a team that last season ranked last in the National League in runs and slugging runs.