Five-time All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez hasn’t played in the majors since 2018, but his professional career isn’t over yet. Gonzalez has signed with the expansion Guadalajara Mariachis of the Mexican League, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times relays. The soon-to-be 39-year-old did so in order to tune up for this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games, in which he’s hoping to play for Mexico. The team has already qualified for the tournament.
As Shaikin notes, Gonzalez previously represented Mexico in youth ball, the Caribbean World Series and the World Baseball Classic. Gonzalez said adding the Olympics to that trio would be “like the grand slam of representing Mexico. That is the only reason I have not retired yet.”
Gonzalez struggled with the Dodgers in 2017 and then the Mets the next season, combining for a .240/.292/.363 line with nine home runs in 439 plate appearances. Despite those woes, Gonzalez said he has received and rejected minor league offers from MLB teams since the Mets parted with him in June 2018. The California resident hasn’t gotten interest from West Coast teams and would prefer to spend time there with his family instead of going to Florida for spring training, per Shaikin.
In all likelihood, we have seen the last of Gonzalez in the majors, but there’s no denying he was one of the game’s most imposing sluggers for a long stretch. Also a former Ranger, Padre and Red Sox, Gonzalez batted .287/.358/.485 with 317 home runs – including 30 or more in four seasons – from 2004-18.