Marwin Gonzalez followed a breakout 2017 (.303/.377/.530) with a solid season in '18, posting a .733 OPS to go with 25 doubles and 16 home runs in a career-high 552 plate appearances. That and the 29-year-old's ability to play strong defense at multiple positions, including shortstop, second base and left field, make him an intriguing option for any number of clubs.
Below is a rundown of the latest news and rumors surrounding the versatile veteran.
Marwin to Twins for two years, $21 million
Feb. 22: Gonzalez is headed to the Twins on a two-year, $21 million deal, sources confirmed to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi and Jesse Sanchez on Friday.
Gonzalez had been linked to Minnesota this week and now he's agreed to terms. It's another key upgrade to a Twins offense that has made several of them this offseason -- previously adding Nelson Cruz, C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop.
The versatile 29-year-old can play any infield position, as well as the outfield. Gonzalez's super-utility skillset can give the Twins some insurance in case players like third baseman Miguel Sano or center fielder Byron Buxton struggle with injuries or slumps as they have in the last couple of seasons.
Gonzalez hit .247/.324/.409 with 16 home runs and 68 RBIs in 145 games for the Astros last season after a breakout 2017. In '18, he rebounded from a slow first half to post great numbers down the stretch.
His defensive flexibility was also a key for the AL West champs -- he was their regular left fielder for much of the year, but also took over at shortstop when Carlos Correa went down with a back injury during the regular season and at second base when Jose Altuve's knee injury forced him to DH in the playoffs.
Marwin in Minnesota still a possibility
However, the club would like to get something done sooner rather than later to put Gonzalez in the best position to succeed, writes Hayes.
Per Hayes, the Twins believe they have strong competition for Gonzalez, who is said to be seeking a four-year deal.
Gonzalez has considerable experience at all four infield spots as well as in left field, and he would improve the Twins’ depth significantly. It is especially important for Minnesota to have an insurance policy at third base, given Miguel Sano has never played more than 116 games in a season and is coming off a year in which he hit just .199/.281/.398.
White Sox could shift focus to Marwin
Feb. 20: The White Sox missed out on Manny Machado, who rebuffed their offer to head to the Padres. On top of that, it seems Chicago also may be out on Bryce Harper, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, who suggests, however, that Marwin Gonzalez could be an option on the South Side.
As the White Sox continue to rebuild, they may find Gonzalez extremely useful, because he could play just about anywhere on the diamond and help fill in holes as they arise via injury or lack of development from young players adjusting to the Major Leagues.
Fellow versatile veteran Josh Harrison also could have been a fit for Chicago, as Nightengale suggests, but he agreed to a one-year deal with the Tigers on Wednesday, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. Gonzalez offers more offensive upside than Harrison, making it likely he will have more suitors, and thus cost more -- in both years and dollars -- to sign.