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Diamondbacks Re-Sign Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Diamondbacks Re-Sign Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Dec. 22: The D-backs have now formally announced the signing.

Dec. 17: The Diamondbacks have agreed to a reunion with free agent outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on a three-year, $42MM contract. The deal (which becomes official once Gurriel passes a physical) contains a opt-out clause after the 2025 season, as well as a $14MM club option for the Diamondbacks for the 2027 campaign. Gurriel is represented by Magnus Sports.

The 30-year-old Gurriel played in Arizona in 2023 after he and catcher Gabriel Moreno were acquired from the Blue Jays in the trade that sent Daulton Varsho to Toronto. Gurriel got off to a hot start in his new locale, making his first career All-Star appearance thanks in large part to a blistering month of May (.352/.416/.714 in 101 plate appearances). That production proved to be something of an outlier for the outfielder, however, as he posted a sub-.700 OPS in each of April, June, and July that left him with an overall slash line of just .246/.294/.445 in 388 trips to the plate entering the month of August.

Gurriel managed to turn things back around down the stretch, however, finishing with a .261/.309/.463 slash line to show for 592 PA over the entire regular season. He also performed decently (93 wRC+) in 70 trips to the plate during Arizona’s postseason run, including a .333/.350/.500 slash line against the Rangers during the World Series.

Despite Gurriel’s uneven performance in 2023, he’s been a pretty solid bat throughout his career with an above-average wRC+ every year since he debuted in the majors back in 2018. Since becoming an everyday player during the shortened 2020 season, Gurriel has slashed .279/.326/.456 with a 112 wRC+. He also receives strong marks for his defense in left field, including a +14 Defensive Runs Saves with Arizona last season. While Gurriel managed just five homers in 121 games with the Blue Jays in 2022, he rediscovered his power stroke with the Diamondbacks last year, clubbing 24 home runs to go along with 35 doubles, both career-best figures.

If he can maintain that power output while bouncing back from a career-worst .282 BABIP last season, it’s possible Gurriel can unlock another level of offensive potential as he enters his thirties. The opt-out clause reflects this ceiling, as Gurriel could now re-enter the market heading into his age-32 season after what he hopes are a pair of very productive seasons in the desert.

Given the dearth of consistent offensive options available on the free…

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