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Marwin signs two-year deal with Twins

@dohyoungpark
February 25, 2019

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Marwin Gonzalez signed a two-year, $21 million contract with the Twins, the club announced on Monday. The agreement was first reported on Friday. Gonzalez, who turns 30 next month, becomes part of a quietly productive offseason for the Twins, who have signed four position players to

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Marwin Gonzalez signed a two-year, $21 million contract with the Twins, the club announced on Monday. The agreement was first reported on Friday.

Gonzalez, who turns 30 next month, becomes part of a quietly productive offseason for the Twins, who have signed four position players to Major League contracts. Nelson Cruz, Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron already have joined a lineup that scored 738 runs last year -- the most of any non-playoff team in the American League.

There's no positional need on the Twins' roster as things currently stand, but Gonzalez should find ways to regularly slot into the starting lineup, especially with the addition of the defensively limited Cruz, who shortens Minnesota's bench.

Twins leadership had hoped to set up the organization for long-term contention beyond 2019 while also taking a wait-and-see approach on its young core this season, and Gonzalez's addition could be seen as a firmer commitment to Minnesota's contention window in the short term.

Even if the Twins don't get the progression they hope to see from Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton this season or a bounce-back campaign from Schoop, Gonzalez offers an experienced, productive bat that can come off the bench and slot in at any of those positions. He has at least 93 career appearances at every infield position and in left field.

Sano is sidelined for the start of Grapefruit League play with a laceration to his right heel area. If Buxton is unable to play, both Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario have the ability to play center field, with Kepler having made 44 starts (55 games) in center last season when Buxton spent most of the season on the injured list and in Triple-A Rochester.

Gonzalez joins Ehire Adrianza, Ronald Torreyes and Willians Astudillo as possible utility options off the bench. Adrianza, 29, is out of Minor League options and would offer the Twins the least flexibility moving forward.

Gonzalez was a World Series hero for the Astros in 2017, when he also became only the third player in Major League history to start at least 20 games at first base, shortstop and left field during a season in which he posted an .800 OPS or better. The others were Sherry Magee (1914) and Honus Wagner (1902).

As a Rule 5 Draft pick, Gonzalez was the first player acquired by Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow after he took the job in December 2011.

Do-Hyoung Park covers the Twins for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark and on Instagram at dohyoung.park.