Former Astros 1B Yuli Gurriel reportedly agrees to deal with Marlins
The Houston Astros' plans at first base likely never involved Yuli Gurriel once they signed José Abreu, but they are still saying goodbye to another starter from their championship teams.
Gurriel, a batting champion and Gold Glove winner in 2021, has reached a deal with the Miami Marlins amid spring training, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. It is a minor-league deal, per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.
The move will end a seven-season tenure in Houston, in which Gurriel hit a combined .284/.328/.448 with 94 home runs and 394 RBIs while mainly working as the club's every-day first baseman. Gurriel won two rings with the Astros, as a starter for last season's championship team and the 2017 title tainted by cheating and his incident with Yu Darvish.
Now entering his age-39 season, Gurriel found his options limited after posting a career-worst .242/.288/.360 last season. The Astros moved on by signing former Chicago White Sox MVP Abreu to a three-year, $58 million contract, while Gurriel, who signed with the Astros after defecting from Cuba, ended up not being able to find a guaranteed roster spot.
The Marlins were slated to start Garrett Cooper at first base this season, but the fact that he hasn't played more than 120 games in a season across six years likely made the team interested in a solid backup.
In addition to Gurriel, the Astros said goodbye to reigning Cy Young winner Justin Verlander and general manager James Click this offseason, to say nothing of past names such as Carlos Correa, George Springer and Gerrit Cole, who exited in free agency.
The Astros have so far managed to cover such exits with success in player development, and they're already covered at first base with Abreu.