ARLINGTON -- Marwin Gonzalez, who hit 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, has rejoined the Astros' organization on a Minor League deal, the club announced Friday. Gonzalez was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Aug. 13.
The club sent Gonzalez to begin working out at their Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., before determining his next steps. Gonzalez could provide some infield depth beyond starters Yuli Gurriel, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and utility infielder Aledmys Díaz. He can also play left field.
Gonzalez could be activated when rosters are expanded from 26 to 28 players on Wednesday.
“We got him to see what he brings to the table,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “We’re trying to see if there’s a fit. He’s on a Minor League contract. He’s working out right now, and we’ll see how that goes and if he gives us more options. … We’re trying to decide where he is physically, trying to decide if the layoff has hurt him and to get him [in] some games somewhere later, to get him in top shape and game-ready.”
Gonzalez, 32, is a veteran of 10 Major League seasons, including the first seven with the Astros (2012-18). He had a breakout season in ’17, slashing .303/.377/.530 with 23 homers and 90 RBIs. He is best known for slugging a game-tying home run off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the 2017 World Series -- a game the Astros won at Dodger Stadium to even the series. Houston won the World Series in seven games.
Gonzalez left the Astros and played two seasons with the Twins before joining the Red Sox, where he batted .202 with 14 doubles, two homers and 20 RBIs in 77 games this year.
The Astros currently have five players on their active roster who were on the ’17 World Series team: Gurriel, Altuve, Correa, Bregman and starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. Bregman said he texted Gonzalez and wrote: “Pumped to have you back.”
“It’s awesome,” he said. “He’s a great teammate. He’s works extremely hard and is a great player. He’s friends with so many players on this team that he’ll fit right in right away. It’s going to be awesome. I’m super excited. … He can help any team with how much versatility he has. He’s a presence in the clubhouse, a great teammate. People have seen it during his time here, how instrumental he was helping us win games.”