Cuban slugger Yulieski Gurriel (39), who ranked first in batting average in the American League (AL) two years ago, is in danger of becoming a free agent.
Gurriel obtained FA qualification after finishing last year’s season, but has not found a new team until mid-February, when spring training is imminent over the year. Several teams showed interest in Guriel, but it did not lead to his contract, and the original team, the Houston Astros, is also lukewarm. 메이저놀이터
Houston general manager Dana Brown said in an interview with local media ‘Fox 26’ on the 11th (Korean time), “Gurriel was an outstanding player in the clubhouse. Both players and coaches love Guriel,” he admitted, but he saw it as difficult in terms of realistic team composition.
This is because in November of last year, he filled the position of Gurriel by signing free agent Jose Abreu, a giant first baseman, for 3 years and 58.5 million dollars. As for the designated hitter, there is no place to use Gurriel as the starting pitcher because there is MVP-class slugger Yodan Alvarez.
General Manager Brown said, “It became difficult to catch Gurriel after signing with Abreu. Redundant power can cause weakness in other parts of the team,” he said. “I want to bring Gurriel back, but I have to give him a chance to bat and see if he can coexist with Abreu.”
Abreu, a Cuban right-handed first baseman like Gurriel, made his major league debut in 2014 and played for the Chicago White Sox for nine years. He played in 1270 games with a batting average of 2.9 2s, 1445 hits, 243 home runs, and 863 RBIs with an OPS of .860. Starting with AL Rookie of the Year in his first year, he won MVP in 2020, and boasts three career All-Star and Silver Slugger honors. Although his slugging power fell with 15 home runs last year, he still shows batting productivity with a batting average of 30% (.304) and an OPS of .824.
Gurriel made his major league debut at the late age of 32 in 2016 and played six years in Houston. He played as a member of Houston’s World Series championship twice in 2017 and last year, recording a career batting average of 2.8, 4, 866 hits, 94 homers, 435 RBIs, and an OPS of .776 in 801 games. In particular, he ranked first in AL batting average (.319) in 2021 and received a Gold Glove for first baseman, but his overall career falls short of Abreu.
Above all, he had a career-low season with a batting average of .242, 132 hits, 8 homers, and 53 RBIs in 146 games last year with an OPS of .647. I am also 39 years old, born in 1984, so I am not sure of a rebound. Last year, detailed indicators such as batting speed and barrel batting rate were career lows.
Other teams are also lukewarm about signing Gurriel. The Miami Marlins, which took a fairly serious approach, reportedly gave up the recruitment last month because the terms of the contract did not match. They traded Luis Araez to Miami and are connecting with the Minnesota Twins, who have an empty first base, but are not active because of the presence of prospect Alex Kirilov.
According to a New York Post report earlier this month, Gurriel, who earned an annual salary of $8 million last year, is known to want an annual salary of more than $3 million. If the condition is not lowered than this, his free agent missing status will inevitably be prolonged.