The Miami Marlins and free agent first baseman Yuli Gurriel have agreed on a contract, reports Ken Rosenthal. Terms of the deal weren't immediately known and it's likely the deal is pending a physical.
Gurriel, 38, spent the first seven seasons of his MLB career -- after defecting from Cuba -- with the Houston Astros, winning two World Series titles, a Gold Glove and a batting title in the process.
Last season, Gurriel hit .242/.288/.360 (84 OPS+) with 40 doubles, eight home runs, 53 RBI, 53 runs, eight stolen bases and -0.3 WAR. He looked like the Gurriel of old in the playoffs, though, gathering hits in nine of the 12 games with five of those games being multi-hit efforts en route to a .347 average along with two home runs.
For whatever reason, Gurriel has an even-odd thing going right now in his career. That is, he had great seasons in 2017, 2019 (including 31 homers and 104 RBI) and 2021 (including an AL-best .319 average) while he had down years in 2018 and especially 2020 and 2022.
The Marlins will be hoping the trend continues.
After acquiring 2022 AL batting champ Luis Arraez, the Marlins are set to play him at second base and move Jazz Chisholm to center field in an attempt to maximize offense. Garrett Cooper was slotted as the first baseman with Jorge Soler at DH. It'll be interesting to see how they plan to mix Gurriel in. They could play Soler in the outfield with Cooper at DH, though the corner outfield spots seem taken with Avisail Garcia and Bryan De La Cruz. Most importantly, it's another upside bat to the mix on a team that ranked dead last in the National League in runs and slugging last season.