Why the Miami Marlins moved on from a free agent
The Miami Marlins were seemingly a bit undecisive recently... first showing interest and then taking it away in free agent first baseman Yuli Gurriel. We now know what actually transpired. It wasn't actually The Fish that acted so indecisively, but the first baseman himself. Why? What's going on? Let's find out...
The Miami Marlins couldn't sign Yuli Gurriel.
Yuli Gurriel had a nice career in the Major Leagues. He played his entire career with the Houston Astros (since 2016) and had some good and some not so good seasons along the way. He debuted with a .262/.292/.385 batting line in 36 games and 130 AB. In Houston's World Series winning season in 2017, Yuli batted .299/.332/.486 with 18 home runs and 75 RBI in 139 games and 529 AB. He didn't look like a power hitter, but hit well enough for average.
In 2018, Yuli Gurriel batted .291/.323/.428 with 13 home runs and 85 RBI in 136 games and 537 AB. It was anothe rimpressive season when it comes to contact, but unimpressive based on the power. All of that would change in the juiced ball 2019 season. Yuli batted .298/.343/.541 with 31 home runs and 104 RBI in 144 games and 564 AB. That turned out to be the best season of his career and he was worth his highest 3.9 WAR. In the shortened 2020 season, Yuli batted .232/.274/.384 in 57 games and 211 AB. In 2021, he produced 3.7 WAR as he batted .319/.383/.462 with 15 home runs and 81 RBI in 143 games and 530 AB.
In 2022, Yuli Gurriel had his worst season yet a she batted .242/.288/.360 with 8 home runs and 53 RBI in 146 games and 545 AB. He was worth -0.3 WAR. Coming off such a terrible season, it's not a surprise that the Miami Marlins only offered him $2 million for 1 season. Yuli left The Fish hanging for a week, refusing to commit one way or another. Kim Ng acted proactively and pulled the offer. Yuli was lucky to be getting a Major League offer at all at 38 years old and after the season that he's had.
Yuli Gurriel probably expects to return to the Houston Astros, but they don't have room for him as a starter, and it's hard to find a fit for him anywhere else as such.