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:
Utilityman Marwin Gonzalez is in agreement with the Minnesota Twins on a two-year, $21 million deal, league sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 22, 2019
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.
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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