SEATTLE -- The decision to bring utility infielder Marwin Gonzalez back into the Astros organization was a popular one among the players, especially those who remain from the 2017 World Series team. Last week, the Astros signed Gonzalez to a Minor League contract and sent him to West Palm Beach, Fla., to work out, but he’s expected to join the big league club in early September.
One of the most vocal players in support of Gonzalez coming back was shortstop Carlos Correa, who reached out Gonzalez after he was designated for assignment by the Red Sox last month to gauge his interest in returning to Houston. Correa broached the topic with several of his teammates before bringing it up with general manager James Click.
“I talked to Marwin,” Correa said. “I said, ‘We want you here.’ He said, ‘I would love to be there with you guys again.’ I talked to [Jose] Altuve and [Martín] Maldonado and a couple of the guys and they were all on board with it. We went and talked to the front office and I’m glad we got it done.”
It’s not unusual for players to suggest to management to make moves when players are available, and considering Gonzalez’s track record of success in Houston and the fact he had so much support in the clubhouse, the signing made sense.
“I talked to the guys and everybody wanted him here,” Correa said. “I went ahead and talked to the front office to see if we could make it happen. I’m glad we could do that. Marwin is not only a Houston Astros legend, but also a great ballplayer, and I think we can help him here.”
Gonzalez, who can play all four infield spots and left field, struggled in Boston. He hit just .202 with 14 doubles, two homers and 20 RBIs in 77 games this year before being cut loose. That’s not the Marwin Gonzalez that Correa knows.
“I think we can help him a lot here with his approach and make him the player that he was when he was here,” Correa said.
The player that Gonzalez was in Houston was a huge contributor to the 2017 championship club. He’s best known for hitting perhaps the biggest home run in franchise history with his game-tying shot in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the 2017 World Series off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. That season, he slashed .303/.377/.530 with 23 homers and 90 RBIs for the Astros and received some down ballot MVP votes.
“I’m glad we picked him up and I believe he’s going to help us down the stretch,” said Correa, who along with Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel and Lance McCullers Jr. are the only healthy members of the team’s 2017 championship club that remain.