In imagining the 26 man roster I have been wondering about Marwin's role on the team since Donaldson arrived. I guess there are the following arguments rostering him.
Gonzalez' versatility will keep him on the roster.
He certainly was in 2017. I wrote last year that Houston stopped playing him at SS in 2018 and that became clear in July when Correa was injured and instead of sliding in Gonzalez they shuffled around the infield while using him in LF. Last year he played the same number of games at 2B for the Twins as Willians Astudillo. Rocco sees the value in positional flexibility yet he almost never used Gonzalez up the middle. His versatility now may be the corners.
Gonzalez' bat will keep him on the roster.
He is now two years away from that amazing 2017 season. A season where he saw his swing and miss rate at his all time low of 8%. He returned to his 2015-2016 level last year at 11.1%. Take out 2017 and he puts up a pretty consistent OPS line of 759, 694, 733 and 736. I think at 31 it would be foolish to expect better. Projections have him higher but they use 3-5 years of data and probably don't factor in lack of trash can bangs into their algorithms.
Gonzalez veteran presence with success in a World Series will keep him on the roster.
The Twins have few players with World Series experience. That must earn respect in the locker room. How much of that respect is lost with his involvement in stealing pitches in 2017? How does he explain his role in cheating to pitchers like Michael Pineda or Rich Hill? Will he have lost the respect of some of his teammates?
Gonzalez salary will keep him on the roster.
The Twins will be very reluctant to release a player making 9 million off the roster.
Is a veteran 31 year old that can play LF, RF, 3B and 1B with an OPS of around .730 a lock to make this roster?