Gurriel's club option for 2022 picked up

November 5th, 2021

HOUSTON -- While the Astros could lose shortstop Carlos Correa in free agency this winter, the club brought back one member of its longtime infield Thursday when first baseman announced on Twitter that he was informed by the team he’s returning for 2022.

Last September, the Astros re-signed Gurriel to a one-year contract with an option for '22 worth $8 million, which is a bargain considering Gurriel won the American League batting title this year and is a finalist for the Gold Glove at first base.

Gurriel, 37, hit .319 with 15 homers, 81 RBIs and a career-high 59 walks in 143 regular-season games for the Astros this year, becoming the second player in Astros history to win a batting title. Teammate Jose Altuve has won three batting titles (2014, '16-17). Gurriel hit .311 in 16 playoff games this year with one homer and 10 RBIs, including three hits in Game 5 of the World Series.

The Astros signed Gurriel to a five-year deal out of Cuba in 2016 and gave him a contract extension at the end of 2020 despite Gurriel hitting .232 in the pandemic-shortened season. He followed that up by going 5-for-44 in the 2020 playoffs with no extra-base hits, but he showed up at Spring Training in better shape and regained his form.

Gurriel, Altuve, Correa and third baseman Alex Bregman played in their 73rd career playoff game together in Houston’s Game 6 World Series loss to the Braves on Tuesday. That’s the most playoff games any quartet has played together in playoff history.

Altuve and Bregman have already signed contract extensions to remain in Houston three more years, but Correa is a free agent for the first time at 27 years old.