Report: Marwin Gonzalez Signs With Minnesota Twins

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HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 18: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Houston Astros reacts after striking out in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Marwin Gonzalez has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Minnesota Twins today for $21 million dollars over two years. It is not hard to see the fit. Gonzalez, maybe even more than Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, was every General Manager’s dream this off-season. He can play every position in the infield, as well as left field, and pairs it with a bat that can vary from slightly better than average to elite.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan shared the financials of the reported deal:

Marwin Gonzalez is Headed to Minnesota

Gonzalez’s versatility can provide starting value, backup, or rest days for five or six positions. He could conceivably start one game a week at five different positions to keep everyone in the lineup well rested. However, he doesn’t have to move around to provide value. While defensive metrics vary in their opinion of his glovework, his bat and glove profile well enough for prolonged stints at any position except for shortstop.

According to Fangraphs, his defense may suffer a bit from manning so many different positions as he’s garnered negative marks for three straight years. However, defensive marks vary wildly from year to year, and his defense last year still equaled or bettered notable names like Marcell Ozuna, George Springer, Giancarlo Stanton, Freddie Freeman, and fellow multipositional talents Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger.

In other words, despite the negative rating, Gonzalez’s glove was perfectly passable. On the other hand, baseball-reference rated his glovework in 2018 as a net positive, giving him 0.5 defensive WAR on the year with the only negative marks coming from his time at shortstop. That’s quite a feat considering the number of positions he handled.

In addition to playing passable or better defense at a variety of positions, Gonzalez’s bat at it’s best compares favorably to Ben Zobrist‘s in his prime, or Javier Baez of 2018.

Name Year Avg. OBP SLG OPS OPS+ wRC+ HR SB bWAR
Javier Baez 2018 .290 .326 .554 .881 126 131 34 21 6.3
Ben Zobrist 2009 .297 .405 .543 .948 149 152 27 14 8.6
Marwin Gonzalez 2017 .303 .377 .530 .907 146 144 23 8 4.3

While he lacks the speed and elite glovework offered by Baez, his offensive profile at it’s best holds up well against the best of the best the super-utility position has to offer.

The Twins signed Gonzalez, obviously hoping for his best, but even the 2018 version of Marwin Gonzalez is an asset worth having. He profiles as a league average or better starter at four different positions, he can play shortstop in a pinch, and there’s no question Minnesota is very happy to have him in the fold. He joins Nelson Cruz as free agents to sign with the Twins this off-season as the team looks to put a disappointing 2018 behind them.

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I'm Seth and I like baseball, rock and roll on vinyl and if I think of anything else, I'll let you know. I've been writing since winning an 8th grade poetry competition, and it's just never stopped. Poems, essays, articles, op-eds - you name it, it's happened. But baseball, and the Atlanta Braves in particular, is always close to my heart. I'm pretty sure I cried when Dave Justice hit the home run to win the '95 World Series - though if you meet me in person, I'll deny it.

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