Versatile Gonzalez finalizes $21M, 2-year deal with Twins

Jimmy Golen Ap Sports Writer
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Don't call Marwin Gonzalez a utilityman. At least not around the Minnesota Twins.

"That's something I've heard used before, all the time," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said on Monday after welcoming Gonzalez to the team's spring training ballpark. "We consider Marwin an everyday player. He's just a multi-positional everyday player."

A veteran of seven seasons, all with the Astros, Gonzalez has played every position except pitcher and catcher — and played them well. In Houston's 2017 World Series championship season, his best year, he committed eight errors in 134 games while batting .303 with 23 homers and 90 RBIs. He finished in the top 20 of the AL MVP voting.

Despite a dropoff last year (.247, 16 HR, 68 RBIs), the Twins will pay Gonzalez $21 million for the next two years even though they don't really have a spot for him.

One spot wouldn't be enough, anyway.

"It's kind of boring for me to be in the same spot every day," he said. "I used to be that way, years ago I wanted to be good at one position and be able to play there and establish myself for my entire career. With time, I fall in love with what I do and then I feel comfortable everywhere."

The Twins just gave shortstop Jorge Polanco a new deal and added Jonathan Schoop at second base and C.J. Cron at first. Third baseman Miguel Sano, an All-Star in 2017, is seen as a potential franchise cornerstone if he can stay healthy.

The outfield is also crowded, with Eddie Rosario in left and Max Kepler in right; five-time All-Star Nelson Cruz, Minnesota's highestprofile offseason addition, is the designated hitter.

The Twins already had Ehire Adrianza as a backup infielder.

Gonzalez expressed no preference for any one position — or even how he might choose to be bounced around — saying it was up to the manager to decide. Baldelli said they would figure that out over the next month.