Marwin Gonzalez is the player the Red Sox have been looking for
Since Brock Holt left town following the 2019 MLB season, the Boston Red Sox never really found a replacement. Holt, a former All-Star, was far from the flashiest or most productive player that the team has had, but what he did bring was hustle and flexibility. Holt played all over the diamond, apart from the catcher-spot, and that’s something the Sox missed last season.
Late this offseason, the Red Sox made the signing of Marwin Gonzalez. The 31-year-old was an integral part of the Houston Astros organization when Alex Cora served as their bench coach and helped them win the World Series back in 2017. The Sox were able to pick him up at the end of February on a one-year deal that will cost them just $3 million – pennies for a player of Gonzalez’s caliber who has the ability to really help out the Sox fill in the holes this season.
Gonzalez has spent significant time at all fielding spots apart from catcher and center fielder during his nine years in the majors so far and has turned out to be one of the more reliable utility players in the league. In a Red Sox team that is rebuilding most of their roster, having someone like this will help bridge the gaps between what they are and what they want to be down the line. With Boston’s superstar outfield being dismantled, it leaves a lot to be desired on both offensive and defensive fronts out there. Gonzalez is a proven fielder, who will be a utility bat and has the ability to heat up.
The 2017 season stands out as Marwin’s best offensive year, where he hit .303 with 23 homers and 90 RBI. That’s not the player that the Red Sox have signed, but they only paid $3 million so nobody should be expecting that.
Gonzalez went 37-for-175 (.211) last year in a shortened season where stats shouldn’t really be looked at too deeply.
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What we do know is that Gonzalez brings solid defense, something that the Red Sox are desperate for when you look at what they’ve lost. He also has the ability with the bat. The fact that he isn’t projected to be starting for the Sox if all players are healthy should bring promise for the team’s position this season if nothing else does.
He’ll serve as a pure utility guy, taking the reigns for this role that Holt left in Boston two years ago. Holt is a player that Red Sox fans loved for the way he carried himself. Gonzalez brings more to the table. He’s a more productive version of Holt, while also knowing what it takes to help the team in the same way Holt did.
The Sox outfield is projected to be Franchy Cordero, Alex Verdugo, and Hunter Renfroe. There’s potential that Gonzalez has a bigger role to play than just as a fill-in guy this season, and this will most likely happen. There’ll be moments where he’s called upon to get a hit or two turns up in the field and make plays that the Sox will see come much more rarely in the field this season without stars like Jackie Bradley Jr. present.
The bottom line is that Gonzalez is a winner and a veteran presence – something that you can never get enough of in a clubhouse that will be inevitably changing at various points again in the near future. He’s a player who can provide production now and help out with the process of getting this franchise back on track to their winning ways.