FT MYERS, FL – The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have signed multi-positional player Marwin Gonzalez to a two-year, $21 million contract.
Over the last two seasons with the Houston Astros, Gonzalez has appeared in 279 games, hitting .274 (259-for-944), with 39 home runs, 59 doubles and 158 RBI while posting a .349 on-base percentage and a .817 OPS.
Gonzalez, 29, played 145 games last season, hitting .247 (121-for-489) with 25 doubles, 16 home runs, 68 RBI, 61 runs scored, 53 walks, a .324 on-base percentage and a .733 OPS in a career-high 552 plate appearances. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound switch-hitter played 76 games in the outfield, 39 at shortstop, 32 at second, 24 at first base and three games at third.
In 2017, Gonzalez finished sixth in the American League in OPS (.907), eighth in OBP (.377), ninth in batting average (.303) and 10th in slugging percentage (.530). He became the 10th player in World Series history to hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning (Game 2 off the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen) and the third player in major league history to start at least 20 games at first base, shortstop and leftfield during a season in which he posted an .800 OPS or better. The others were Sherry Magee (1914) and Honus Wagner (1902).
The Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela native was originally signed by the Chicago Cubs as a 16-year-old international free agent. In 2011 he was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the Rule 5 Draft and traded to the Astros the same day. Gonzalez played seven major league seasons with Houston, hitting .264 (650-for-2466) with 139 doubles, 76 home runs, 292 RBI and 303 runs scored in 795 games.
To make room for Gonzalez on the 40-man roster, the Twins have designated outfielder Zack Granite for release or assignment. Granite, who was selected by Minnesota in the 14th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, played in 40 career games for the Twins, hitting .237 (22-for-93) with two doubles, one home run, 13 RBI and 14 runs scored with a .611 OPS.