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Rumor: Twins in on Yuli Gurriel


mnfireman
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MLBTR has reported the Minnesota Twins may be in on aging slugger Yuli Gurriel. The former Astro slumped in his age 34 season, dropping to an 84 OPS+ after posting an impressive 131 mark in 2021. To the Twins, Gurriel likely looks like a rebound candidate but even despite his bad overall offensive performance last season, he posted a slightly above average .740 OPS against left-handed pitching.

Though he can slot into the short side of a platoon with Alex Kirilloff, Gurriel is not an outfielder, which would help his playing time on the Twins roster. With right-handed Jose Miranda already roaming the infield and able to play third base, the most natural fit is for Minnesota to pursue a righty outfielder to complement Max Kepler, Trevor Larnach, Nick Gordon, and Matt Wallner.


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I would love for the Twins to sign him. I posted this in another thread two days ago.  He won the batting title two years ago and while he did drop to .244 last season, he was great in the playoffs. He also makes a ton of contact only striking out 14% of the time. We could use that in the lineup after moving Arraez. I think if you led off Buxton, Yuli hitting second with Correa behind him looks good. Real good. He still plays gold glove level defense at first base and he brings a ton of experience to the table.
 

Now, having said that, I was getting the impression that Kirilloff would now play first. I just don’t see a roster spot for Gurriel unless there is a trade coming that sends one or more of Kepler, Gordon, Larnach or Kirilloff somewhere for prospects or another bullpen upgrade.

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I like the idea of Gurriel as the right handed bench bat/1B platoon. However, I wouldn't drop anyone not named Pagan from the 40-man for him. So I'd try to come to an agreement with him, but not sign him until Canterino and Paddack hit the 60 day. He's a champion and gamer. The team can use more of those.

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46 minutes ago, AstrosTwins said:


 

Now, having said that, I was getting the impression that Kirilloff would now play first. I just don’t see a roster spot for Gurriel unless there is a trade coming that sends one or more of Kepler, Gordon, Larnach or Kirilloff somewhere for prospects or another bullpen upgrade.

I’d really want Kirilloff to become a fixture for the Twins, but his ability to get on the field and swing freely is far from a sure thing. Having Gurriel available to step in full-time is prudent and there should be at-bats available for him regardless. 

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28 minutes ago, stringer bell said:

I’d really want Kirilloff to become a fixture for the Twins, but his ability to get on the field and swing freely is far from a sure thing. Having Gurriel available to step in full-time is prudent and there should be at-bats available for him regardless. 

Totally agree. Reports out of Florida are that Kirilloff is there and swinging freely. I'm really hoping that means this surgery worked and he can finally show his true self this season. Seems like a good kid and deserves a real shot at a career not ruined by his wrist.

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Serious interest in Gurriel means that there are doubts about having a viable 1B on the roster, or because there's concern about table setting with so many hitters coming off poor performance, injury or simply new to the bigs.  However the fact that Miami seems to be leading the bidding indicates it's not serious concern.  

I imagine we'd see a trade for this role before we'd see a free agent signing of a 38 year old with a slowing bat that the Astros both love and let walk away.  This off-season isn't over yet.

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6 hours ago, AstrosTwins said:

I would love for the Twins to sign him. I posted this in another thread two days ago.  He won the batting title two years ago and while he did drop to .244 last season, he was great in the playoffs. He also makes a ton of contact only striking out 14% of the time. We could use that in the lineup after moving Arraez. I think if you led off Buxton, Yuli hitting second with Correa behind him looks good. Real good. He still plays gold glove level defense at first base and he brings a ton of experience to the table.
 

Now, having said that, I was getting the impression that Kirilloff would now play first. I just don’t see a roster spot for Gurriel unless there is a trade coming that sends one or more of Kepler, Gordon, Larnach or Kirilloff somewhere for prospects or another bullpen upgrade.

Wait.  You mean a guy can win a batting title and then drop to .244......

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We need a RH bat.  We could use more guys with his playoff experience. I wouldn’t hate it for those reasons.

His overall playoff stats are rather pedestrian.  Actually has a negative overall WPA in the playoffs.  But, he’s had some good series and big moments.  Also, can’t find a substitute for that experience.  Winning experience.  This roster is very immature in that regard (except Correa).

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Correa was his teammate for years at Houston, so I suspect our "assistant GM" is lobbying the FO to add him as an experienced player with championship experience.  I don't think that is a bad idea IF a 40 man roster solution is found, and IF the Twins perceive that his bat speed is still ok.  He had a horrible year in 2020 and rebounded in 2021, so maybe he still can deliver in a parttime role.  Even in last year's horrible year, he was pretty decent against lefties.  He also was much better against power pitchers last year which might indicate his bat speed is still ok.  He won a Gold Glove in 2021, so he can hold his own at first base.  I am not saying I would do the deal, but I am saying I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand as some might advocate.

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17 hours ago, AstrosTwins said:

I would love for the Twins to sign him. I posted this in another thread two days ago.  He won the batting title two years ago and while he did drop to .244 last season, he was great in the playoffs. He also makes a ton of contact only striking out 14% of the time. We could use that in the lineup after moving Arraez. I think if you led off Buxton, Yuli hitting second with Correa behind him looks good. Real good. He still plays gold glove level defense at first base and he brings a ton of experience to the table.
 

Now, having said that, I was getting the impression that Kirilloff would now play first. I just don’t see a roster spot for Gurriel unless there is a trade coming that sends one or more of Kepler, Gordon, Larnach or Kirilloff somewhere for prospects or another bullpen upgrade.

Miranda is likely getting most of 3rd base but also some 1st. AK should be getting most of 1st but also OF and DH. Lewis will most likely be a super utility guy until he settles into a position unless he just takes Arraez’s role (minus 1st base) and carries at .300ba+ Julien also could be that guy.  We need to stop bringing in FA guys and let the youngsters get playing time. 

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1 hour ago, Fatbat said:

Miranda is likely getting most of 3rd base but also some 1st. AK should be getting most of 1st but also OF and DH. Lewis will most likely be a super utility guy until he settles into a position unless he just takes Arraez’s role (minus 1st base) and carries at .300ba+ Julien also could be that guy.  We need to stop bringing in FA guys and let the youngsters get playing time. 

I’m not against bringing in a RH bench bat, but Gurriel would not be an improvement over what they have. There aren’t really good options in free agency right now, anyways.

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2 hours ago, Fatbat said:

Miranda is likely getting most of 3rd base but also some 1st. AK should be getting most of 1st but also OF and DH. Lewis will most likely be a super utility guy until he settles into a position unless he just takes Arraez’s role (minus 1st base) and carries at .300ba+ Julien also could be that guy.  We need to stop bringing in FA guys and let the youngsters get playing time. 

The part about stop with the FA Guys and let the youngsters play cant be said enough.  Lets see what these prospects have or dont have.

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No interest; his power fell off the same cliff Kepler's did after the 2019 ball de-juicing. Start with Kirilloff and Miranda manning 1B, and if Kirilloff doesn't end up cutting it, then it's time to reach down for Julian, Martin, Lee or Lewis to jump in the infield mix. This team isn't going to build a WS team by chasing these below average veteran bats, they need to be rid of them and give as much playing time to the prospects so they can see which can be difference makers later.

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Am I excited about this idea? No. But is there need still for some RH bat help? Absolutely. 

Look, even if AK is 100%, even if Kepler isn't traded, even if the Twins kept Larnach on the roster WITH Larnach, Gallo, and Gordon, the Arraez trade still leaves 12 position players and they need 13.

I could get behind a signing like Gurriel. At worst he provides experience, good defense, and a part time RH bat. Even at his age, he was damn good  year ago in 2021. Not saying it's some great move, or that I didn't/don't want better, just saying I could get behind a bench signing like this. 

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