Have we seen the last of Marwin Gonzalez in an Astros uniform?
We may soon know the answer. I hope the Astros find a way to bring back the super utility guy that can play any position on the diamond. In the past seven seasons, we’ve watched Marwin grow into the player he is today. The first move Jeff Luhnow made after becoming the GM was to trade for Gonzalez from the Boston Red Sox.
I think after the trade for Aledmys Diaz that the writing is on the wall that Gonzalez is gone. Diaz can play 3rd, shortstop and the outfield. He’ll be a huge asset during the season as last season he batted .263 with 18 home runs and 55 RBI in 130 games, via Baseball-Reference. Compare that to Gonzalez, who batted .247 with 16 homers in 145 games. I think he could play a big part this season and maybe even start the season as the Astros’ everyday left-fielder.
Another option to make up for the absences of Gonzalez’s bat would be trading for Paul Goldschmidt from the Arizona Diamondbacks. If the Astros do this, Goldschmidt is now the everyday first baseman, and AJ Hinch could move Yuli Gurriel to DH. This option would bring more power to the lineup and make it even deeper than it was in 2017. Moving Yuli Gurriel to DH would take some stress off his body and keep him fresh for the postseason.
If Gonzalez is truly gone, I don’t think only one player can fill the void he leaves behind. It will take multiple guys, but I think it’s possible. The combination of Diaz, Goldschmidt (if they’re able to work out the trade for him) and Gurriel is a great place to start.
The market for Gonzalez is heating up right now, meaning the price for him is going up. If Houston could bring him back for four years and $70 million, I think they should do it. He was a big reason they won the World Series in 2017. His game-tying two home run might be the biggest home run in Astros history. He was a spark off the bench when they needed a clutch at-bat late in the game. He was a plus defender at every position he was asked to field. A.J. Hinch said if he had a problem, Gonzalez was the answer.
In closing, I feel the Astros should do what it takes to re-sign Gonzalez. He’s the best utility player in the game and has come up big in multiple big-time games. He’s a class act on and off the diamond. If they’re not able to re-sign him, then they should move on with one of the options I’ve presented. The Goldschmidt option is what I prefer and from what I’m hearing is a real possibility. With all this said, a post-Marwin world is a real possibility, but I don’t see it as an end to the dominance of the Astros. I see it as a way to get other guys involved in the run.