Yuli Gurriel, Astros Agree to 1-Year Contract Extension Worth Reported $7M

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2020

Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel (10) flips the ball to first base after fielding a hit during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Michael Wyke/Associated Press

The Houston Astros announced a one-year contract extension with first baseman Yuli Gurriel on Tuesday. The deal contains a club option for 2022.

His extension is worth $7 million in 2021, while the 2022 option is worth $8 million with a $500,000 buyout, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Gurriel struggled during the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season, posting a .232/.274/.384 triple-slash line with six home runs in 57 games. The dip in production came after he compiled career highs in OPS (.884) and homers (31) in 2019.

The 36-year-old Cuba native got a break in August from manager Dusty Baker, who didn't want to risk an injury.

"You never want to sacrifice a game, but you'd rather sacrifice a game than hit a sore Yuli and he has to beat out a double play or something, then he ends up pulling something," Baker told reporters at the time. "We got enough guys on the injured list and certainly can't afford any more."

Gurriel did deal with a hand injury in September and previously underwent hand surgery in 2018.

The drop in production from a player in his late 30s would typically be cause for concern, but it didn't prevent the Astros from giving him an extension.

Gurriel will look to bounce back when Houston opens the playoffs Tuesday with a first-round series against the Minnesota Twins. It's a best-of-three series played entirely on the road after the 'Stros finished as the AL's No. 6 seed with a 29-31 record.

Regardless of how the postseason plays out, he's set to return as a key member of the Astros lineup in 2021.