At the beginning of the offseason, former Astros utility man Marwin Gonzalez was seen as one of the premier free agents.
He was firmly cemented in the second tier of available ballplayers, right beside guys like Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel. Gonzalez had established himself as a key contributor to the 2017 Houston Astros World Series run, where he hit career-highs across the board, with a .303 batting average, 23 home runs, and a .907 OPS. Gonzalez also proved himself valuable by literally playing every position on the diamond, minus pitcher and catcher, last season. That’s right, Gonzalez has the rare distinction of being a super utility man that can literally play anywhere and play above average defense at said position.
With a resume like that, you’d think teams would be frothing at the mouth and trampling over one another to give the 29-year-old a contract. But alas, like every other free agent this offseason, Gonzalez’s phone was silent.
Yesterday, the Minnesota Twins and Marwin Gonzalez agreed to a two-year, $21-million contract.
This is a bargain and a half for one half of the Twin Cities, as they are very close to contention for the ultra-weak AL Central. They get a veteran, playoff experienced player, who has hit double-digit home runs in each of the last four seasons, who can play absolutely anyone on the field, for basically a pocket full of lint.
Are the Twins prepared to fight it out with the Indians for the AL Central crown?
I mean the Twins brought in a number of useful veterans and handed out countless minor league deals to even more useful players that will likely make the team. Guys like Nelson Cruz, CJ Cron, Adam Rosales, Lucas Duda, Tim Collins, Blake Parker, Martin Perez, Jonathan Schoop, Ronald Torreyes, and now Gonzalez. The Twins have a pretty good crop of young kids on the Major league roster already, minus whatever happened to Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano last season, and have three more top 100 prospects on the way. The real concern is the pitching, as the Rotation reads:
- Jose Berrios
And then, “We’re fucked,” for every other starter.
If only there were free agent pitcher, one that’s won a Cy Young, and, like Gonzalez, has a World Series ring. I bet that would be the perfect fit, but, Oh well, you can’t have everything.
Go, Twins, go.
Take down the Indians for the love of God.
Photo: Bob Levey/ Getty Images