Miami Marlins no longer interested in Yuli Gurriel
By Neil Raymond
The Miami Marlins were pursuing Yuli Gurriel recently, but this pursuit appears to be coming to an end. I wrote about this earlier. It now appears that The Fish have ended the pursuit and are turning back to incumbent option Garrett Cooper as the first baseman in 2023. Is this the right decision by the Miami Marlins? Or should The Fish be pursuing Yuli Gurriel after all? Let's look at the decision and see if it is right. I think that it is.
The Miami Marlins will not be signing Yuli Gurriel.
Yuli Gurriel debuted at 32 years old in 2016. He batted .262/.292/.385 with 3 home runs and 15 RBI in 36 games and 130 AB. This performance was worth 0.7 WAR. In 2017, he batted .299/.332/.486 in 139 games and 529 AB with 18 home runs and 75 RBI. He was worth 2.8 WAR that season. More importantly for him perhaps, he was part of their World Series winning team (even if it was controversially).
In 2018, he batted .291/.323/.428 in 136 games and 537 AB with 13 home runs and 85 RBI. Yuli Gurriel was worth 2.7 WAR for this performance. In 2019, he had his best season, batting .298/.343/.541 with 31 home runs and 104 RBI in 144 games and 564 AB. He was worth 3.9 WAR, his best WAR to date. In the shortened 2020 season, Gurriel struggled to a .232/.274/.384 batting line with 6 home runs and 22 RBI in 57 games and 211 AB. The poor performance was worth 0.0 WAR.
In 2021, Yuli Gurriel batted .319/.383/.462 with 15 home runs and 81 RBI in 143 games and 530 AB. This was his best contact hitting performance to date and made him worth 3.7 WAR. Just 0.2 WAR shy of his best ever WAR mark. In 2022, despite being part of another World Series winning Houston Astros team, he batted .242/.288/.360 with 8 home runs and 53 RBI in 146 games and 545 AB. He was worth a career-worst -0.3 WAR.
I think that Yuli Gurriel being 38 years old and coming off a terrible season should not be playing first base for the Miami Marlins in 2023. This is the right move.