Astros Add Veteran Infielder Who You Might Remember
The Astros have been without Alex Bregman for about half of the 2021 season, only playing 60 of 127 games. Normally that is okay because they have Aledmys Diaz, but he’s only played in 59 games this year. The Astros had to rely on Abraham Toro (before he was traded), Robel Garcia, and recently Jacob Wilson. Toro held his own, which allowed the Astros to maximize his trade value to get Kendall Graveman. While Bregman and Diaz are currently both healthy and playing, there are concerns about whether either one hits the IL again down the stretch.
Marwin Gonzalez had one heck of a season during his second to last season with the Astros in 2017. He signed a 2-year deal with the Twins starting in 2019 but could never approach the production he put up in 2017.
Looking at Tony Adam’s bang analysis, Gonzalez was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the trash can scheme. Bringing him back could send a wrong message to opposing teams who continue to boo the Astros.
This past offseason, he signed a one-year deal with the Red Sox for $3 million. The Red Sox are one of the best teams in the AL, but Gonzalez struggled to hit all season with a slash line of .202/ .281/ .285/ .567 with 2 homers and 20 RBI. He was DFA’ed by the Red Sox and cleared waivers, officially was released on August 16th. He was a free agent looking for a job at the age of 32.
The Houston Astros have signed veteran free agent infielder Marwin González to a minor league deal. The announcement was made by Astros General Manager James Click.— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) August 27, 2021
According to James Click via Mark Berman, the Astros have signed Gonzalez to a minor league deal. He will report to their spring training complex in West Palm Beach to start ramping up to return to action. To make sure he qualified to be on a potential playoff roster, he had to be in the Astros organization before September 1st. According to the Sports Betting Dime, the Astros are +525 favorites to take home a win at this year’s World Series. Adding a veteran like Gonzalez could be a small piece to making that a reality.
Despite his struggles this year, the Astros could value Gonzalez over Garcia and Wilson because he can play multiple positions similar to Diaz, including the outfield. Only five Astros players left from the 2017 roster, Carlos Correa, Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, and Lance McCullers Jr. Gonzalez, would make it six players. Maybe being back among where he felt comfortable will help get his bat going again. But it’s a low-risk signing for the Astros.
We will discuss this Sunday on the Locked On Astros podcast on YouTube. Make sure you subscribe.
With rosters expanding on September 1st from 26 to 28, one of those players is likely to be Jose Urquidy, who will likely join a six-man rotation at that point. There is a chance that the second player could be Gonzalez, who was a clubhouse and fan favorite in his time here. Should we expect the 2017 Marwin to return? No, he is a depth option and hopefully won’t be needed too much more.