The Marlins’ interest in free-agent first baseman Yuli Gurriel first came to light back in late January, although after initially looking as though it might lead to a deal, Miami instead backed off its pursuit. The two parties remain in contact and are still discussing a potential contract, however, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets. Any deal between the two parties, at this point, would likely be a minor league contract, he adds.
It’s been a quiet offseason with regard to Gurriel, who has been tied to the Twins and Astros, in addition to the Marlins. Minnesota, however, has since signed Donovan Solano to fill this same type of role (right-handed-hitting infielder who’ll see plenty of time at first base), while the Astros simply don’t have much in the way of at-bats to offer. Houston signed Jose Abreu to a three-year deal early in the offseason and re-signed Michael Brantley to split time with Yordan Alvarez in left field and at designated hitter. Alvarez has been a bit banged up this spring, with hand soreness keeping him from swinging a bat, but there’s no indication he’s slated to be delayed into the regular season. Astros GM Dana Brown even acknowledged last month that it’d be challenging for Gurriel to get many at-bats on the roster as currently constructed.
Gurriel, 39 in June, is looking for a rebound after turning in a rough .242/.288/.360 batting line in 584 plate appearances last season. His bat-to-ball skills remained excellent (12.5% strikeout rate), but Gurriel’s 5.1% walk rate was his lowest since 2018, while his .117 ISO (slugging minus batting average) was a career-low mark. Meanwhile, his once vaunted defensive grades dipped to below-average (-2 Defensive Runs Saved, -9 Outs Above Average).
Tough as the 2022 season might have been, Gurriel is also just a year removed from winning an American League batting title and Gold Glove. In 2021, he slashed .319/.383/.462 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles. And, even while struggling in 2022, he still managed a solid .265/.298/.441 slash in 181 plate appearances against left-handed pitching.
The Marlins reportedly offered Gurriel a bit more than $2MM on a guaranteed deal earlier in the winter, but it seem that guarantee of a roster spot is no longer on the table now that spring training is well underway. There should still be room for Gurriel to win a bench job, however. Backup catcher Nick Fortes and utilityman Jon Berti have two spots locked down. Whichever of Bryan De La Cruz or Jesus Sanchez isn’t in left field on a given day will likely hold a third spot. (Sanchez, notably, is out of minor league options.) The fourth spot is more up for grabs, however, with infielders Jordan Groshans and Jacob Amaya among the infielders on the 40-man roster (in addition to non-roster invitees like Garrett Hampson).
Miami’s original vision for Gurriel was a right-handed bench bat who could help out at each of first base, second base and third base — despite his lack of recent experience at the latter two positions. Ostensibly, that role is still there for the taking, if he’s willing to come to camp on a nonguaranteed deal and compete for it.
There’s also the possibility for increased time at first base. While incumbent Garrett Cooper has quietly been an underrated and consistently productive force in the lineup when healthy, injuries have been far too frequent for the talented 32-year-old. Since being acquired in the 2017-18 offseason, Cooper has missed time due to wrist, hand, back, elbow, calf and finger injuries, in addition to a stay on the 7-day concussion list last summer. Gurriel would provide some veteran insurance and perhaps a backup at other positions, if Miami feels he’s still a capable option at the hot corner and/or second base.
Just sign him already
“Gurriel, 39 in June, is looking for a rebound”
Nelson Cruz is looking for a rebound too!!! Can Julio Franco or Jamie Moyer mentor these guys?
Bartolo Colon’s gotten himself in great shape, too. Maybe he can help.
Round is a shape so yes.
Bartolo is monitoring the Padres situation right now. If Cole Hamels somehow makes the Padres roster. …. Bartolo knows if Padres pitching is bad enough to add Hamels …. Then he can pitch for the Padres too.
Bad? What are you talking about… Batolon is da man! He’s ageless!
Bartolo was good at an old age because of those injectable “vitamins”.
Hired Gun 23
I tried for years to emulate Franco’s batting stance with success…no luck.
Marlins is great fit for Profar, instead of Gurriel.
I have confidence Profar will get a job in baseball this year…as the coach for his kid’s little league team.
It’s an odd number year so he’s a lock for an .800 OPS.
Marlins unlikely to make playoffs despite solid starting pitching. Probably better to play the young guys rather than signing Gurriel. And Profar be more a negative than a positive and not available on a one year deal for low dollars.
Profar is only looking for a 1 year deal at this point – he’s the perfect fit for Miami especially since they are trying to compete. 1 year/12 mil and flip him at deadline if out of contention
I wouldn’t pay 12 million for Profar. Soler is full-time DH, Garcia, Sanchez and DeLaCruz can handle corner outfield spots. Cooper, Arraez, and Segura in infield. Jazz in CF. Profar would be a 12 million backup and he’s not considered a great dugout guy, certainly not a mentor for Jazz who could use one.
If the Marlins want to fritter some more money, pick up Britton for the bullpen and then try to flip him.
I like it ! Hard to project w marlins since they are trying to contend yet have so many needs. Profar imo a better top of the line up bat. He seems like he’d be a good fit hitting 3 behind arraez and jazz
Watching Torkelson in Spring training is not showing the improvement I hoped to see. Tigers should be talking to Gurriel as a backup, in case Tork needs more AAA time.
Tork can’t hit in an era when hitting has never been less important. Dude is a buzzabust! And not one of those – break out when your 26 years old type player. I mean he’s a dud
White Sox can solve all the Marlins 1st base issues right now. Gavin Sheets/Jake Burger. Take your pick. Jazz Chisholm wants to be in Chicago, and we want him here. Let’s get this done. Maybe add 100k in international bonus money to sweeten the pot for the Marlins.
Burger is a 3b. I would love to see Jazz with the WS but there’s no way Reinsdorf would pay him anything higher than minimum wage.
“Hey Miami, send us your best position player for a guy who will ride our bench!”
Who needs comedy central when you have the trade proposals in mlbtr comments section?
Luis Robert and Colson Montgomery for Chisholm and the marlins will at least need to discuss it. Sheets or Burger is a joke, right?
Wow! I thought stupid trade suggestions season was over when pitchers and catchers reported. I guess not.
Let me make it clear, Marlins would reject this proposal too, but it is closer than his Sheets for Jazz proposal only because Montgomery is a top prospect.
@MannyBeingMVP I didn’t mean my comment toward you. It was toward the idiot that started the thread.
I think if chi-Sox give up $150k in international funds and throw in a sweetener and like paying for vending machines for 2 years for Jazz straight up should get it done.
Nah, I think the Marlins may still need to throw in Alcantara and Arraez to get it closer to being done.
I’ve been screaming for the Mets to cut Darren Ruf and sign this guy to platoon the DH with Vogelbach. Makes too much sense.
Yeah, I’m not sure why the Mets have stuck with Ruf, he should have been jettisoned during the off season, Yuli makes sense as a platoon option for Vogelbach.
Gurriel should take a deal from the Marlins, Even if he starts the season in AAA, he’ll be the starting 1B by May 1st when Garrett Cooper goes down with a sweat gland irritation from mixing deodorant with sunblock; or skin blistering from forgetting to wear his cap two inches out of the dugout; or a gluteus strain sustained from flatulence…or some other injury that can happen when waking up in the morning and stepping out of bed.
Garret Cooper is giving Anthony Rendon a run for his money as far as being made out of glass lol
Even by glass standards, Garrett Cooper is frail. If he yawns, we have to worry he’ll be out for 60 days.
When he and his wife go to the supermarket, she has to get him a cart because he might fracture something if he steps on one of those M&Ms or pieces of rice on the floor that drags under the shopping cart wheels. While the shopping cart can get over them eventually, Cooper will miss the whole season if he stepped on one – 60 days if he steps on a breadcrumb or marshmallow.
You really don’t like Garret Cooper lol
Hey every team at one point has a guy we just want nothing to do with the team. I really do hope Yuli will sign with your Marlins team so you can have depth, and a still potent bat if he continues his production from the playoffs.
All of a sudden that $2 million doesn’t seem so bad
Marlins still trying to get a loan to pay for Gurriel?
Mets still trying to spend billions of dollars to get past 1986.
Now go back to watching E!SPN since you’re still stuck on their antiquated jokes.
They can’t pay him in bobble heads. They’re gone.
This is the big signing Kim Ng has been promising the fan base.
FFS Steve Adams, write in proper English. It’s not “tough as the 2022 season might have been,” it’s “AS tough as the 2022 season might have been.” You can’t just leave out words because you feel like it. Also, stop writing with this BS syntax: “Sanchez, notably, is out of minor league options.” Say “notably, Sanchez is out of minor league options” so you’re not interrupting the flow.