Marwin Gonzalez, Twins Agree to 2-Year Contract, Reportedly Worth $21 Million

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured Columnist

Houston Astros' Marwin Gonzalez celebrates after hitting a grand slam during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, Aug. 24, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

The Minnesota Twins confirmed Monday they signed utility man Marwin Gonzalez to a two-year contract. 

Minnesota Twins @Twins

OFFICIAL: #MNTwins sign Marwin Gonzalez to 2-year deal. https://t.co/WiiRwFDMGN

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Friday the deal is worth $21 million

Jon Heyman of MLB Network first broke the news that an agreement had been reached.

Landing Gonzalez didn't come easy, though. Heyman reported in early November that the 29-year-old had a "monster market" and that "practically every team" had interest.

After spending the first seven seasons of his big league career with the Houston Astros, this will be the first time he has changed uniforms.

Gonzalez enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2017, posting career highs in average (.303), on-base percentage (.377), home runs (23), doubles (34) and RBI (90). That strong performance played a key role in helping the Astros win their first World Series title that year.

While he wasn't able to duplicate those numbers last year, he still put up a respectable stat line.

Gonzalez hit .247 with 16 home runs, 25 doubles, three triples and 68 RBI in 145 games for Houston in 2018. Not only did he produce runs at the plate, but he also provided value with his versatility on defense, having played every position except pitcher and catcher. He has played shortstop more than any other position, though.

Dan Hayes of The Athletic reported Thursday that Minnesota had explored a three-year deal for the versatile free agent. Ultimately, though, the two sides reached an agreement on a shorter contract.

Signing Gonzalez gives first-year manager Rocco Baldelli options to work with. Third baseman Miguel Sano has yet to make it through an entire big-league season healthy and even struggled so mightily last year that he was demoted to the minors—and all the way to Single-A. Having Gonzalez available to shift over to the hot corner could turn out to be a valuable insurance asset.

This is just the latest move made by the Twins this offseason in an effort to boost their offense. Minnesota previously signed six-time All-Star Nelson Cruz to fill their designated-hitter vacancy and 2017 All-Star Jonathan Schoop to handle second base.