The Red Sox have reached an agreement with free-agent utilityman Marwin Gonzalez, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. It’s a one-year, $3MM pact, Feinsand tweets. MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo tweets that Gonzalez can tack on an additional $1.1MM via bonuses based on plate appearances.
This deal will reunite Gonzalez with Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was Houston’s bench coach during Gonzalez’s best season in 2017. Gonzalez played with the Astros from 2012-18, and though it took a couple years for his offense to come around, he became a solid producer at the plate for the club during those last years. The switch-hitter amassed 2,265 plate appearances as an Astro from 2014-18 and batted .271/.328/.438 (111 wRC+) with 70 home runs. He also lined up at every position but pitcher and catcher while with the Astros.
Gonzalez parlayed his all-around success with the Astros into a two-year, $21MM contract with the Twins entering 2019. He continued to provide impressive defensive flexibility in Minnesota, taking the field at all of his previous spots except center field, but his offense faded. The 31-year-old concluded his Twins tenure with a subpar line of .248/.311/.387 (85 wRC+) and 20 homers in 662 trips to the plate.
Although he didn’t produce as hoped as a Twin, it isn’t a surprise Gonzalez garnered interest from several teams this free-agency period. The Blue Jays, one of Boston’s division rivals, were also among the teams fighting for him, per Feinsand. Like fellow new Red Sox utilitman Enrique Hernandez, Gonzalez figures to play all over the diamond for the club. That should include the outfield, as the Red Sox traded one of their previous starters – Andrew Benintendi – on Wednesday.