Will Yuli Guriel Return to the Houston Astros in 2023?

the Houston Astros He was an lively participant within the hot-burner portion of the offseason, as crew proprietor Jim Crane and the entrance workplace labored to enhance the roster. Defend the heroes.

Justin Verlander has handed away And 2020 AL MVP Josè Abreu is now on board. Michael Brantley is againAnd, barring a shock transfer, supervisor Dusty Baker’s 2023 Opening Day roster appears just about set. Nonetheless, there’s nonetheless a notable query mark remaining for Baker and firm as they appear to change into baseball’s first back-to-back champions within the twenty first century.

first baseman Yuli Gurel He is nonetheless a free agent with the calendar now in 2023, and whereas he is nowhere close to as sought-after as free brokers with nine-figure contracts throughout the game, you do not have to look far to discover a bunch of groups that might use a 38-year-old. Miami seems to be within the first base market given their latest curiosity in Pink Sox prospect Triston Casas. Maybe the Pink Sox will discover themselves wanting so as to add a right-handed platoon choice at first base. San Diego continues to shell out the massive money, and Gurriel can slot in as lefty first base and DH choices in Jake Cronenworth and Matt Carpenter. We must always see Gurriel signal a one-year contract with the MLB membership earlier than we get into spring coaching.

Will this crew be the Astros? The difficulty is a bit difficult. Let’s begin with the excellent news. Gurriel, regardless of his advancing age, continues to be a calling machine, as his minuscule 12.5 % strikeout charge in 2022 is within the league’s highest six %. And when the lights are brightest, Gurriel shines. Solely Jose Altuve has extra post-season hits in franchise historical past, and this previous October, Gurriel hit . 347 with a pair of residence runs in 12 video games. Houston’s offense bypassed the playoffs partly due to its distinctive potential to place the ball into play. In an period when this talent is unusual, Gurriel was emblematic of the Astros’ strategy.

Yuli Gurel #10 of the Houston Astros celebrates on the court after the Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 of the 2022 World Series at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, November 5, 2022 in Houston.

Yuli Gurel #10 of the Houston Astros celebrates on the courtroom after the Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in Recreation 6 of the 2022 World Collection at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, November 5, 2022 in Houston.

Mary DeCicco/MLB Photographs through Getty Photos

Gurriel is a clutch hitter and likable teammate, and Crane may merely be tempted to carry Gurriel again for the handful of potential batters he can rating within the 2023 playoffs. Though it is in the end arduous to make a powerful case that Houston ought to carry again the previous innings batting champion remaining. Of the 92 gamers who scored no less than 500 final season, Gurriel ranks 89th in OPS. He completed thirty first out of 34 certified first basemen in most hit proportion. Gurriel brings no positional finesse at this level, and extra importantly, that The Astros shelled out $60 million for a right-handed first baseman Lower than two months in the past. Returning Gurriel appears redundant after including Abreu.

Will probably be arduous to criticize Crane if he brings Gurriel again in 2023. The Houston proprietor can spend as a lot time as he needs in an unfamiliar sport, and whereas Abreu is now from the Astro, there’s a method to give Gurriel one thing shut to some hundred plate appearances whereas maintaining him contemporary within the playoffs. However such a state is unlikely to bear fruit. David Hensley is a younger right-hander who has had a handful of at-bats within the World Collection. One promising prospect is Yainer Diaz, who may spend a while at first base and DH in addition to catcher this season. The Astros may additionally add an at bat if wanted this summer time, when supplemental hitting is not fairly as excessive.

Gurriel is a stalwart of the Houston dynasty, the one who needs to be proudly current at World Collection anniversary occasions in 2027, 2037 and each subsequent decade. However wanting on the present roster, it is arduous to see a spot for Gurriel within the 2023 crew.

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