At the start of the offseason, the Red Sox wanted to increase the versatility of their position player group, hoping to add one of two players to maximize lineup options for manager Alex Cora: Kiké Hernández and Marwin González. Instead of one, the Sox have added both.
Multiple major league sources confirmed that González and the Red Sox reached agreement on a deal on Thursday night. González, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, will get a one-year, $3 million deal with incentives that could increase the value of the deal by $1 million.
The 31-year-old switch-hitter is expected to offer the Red Sox a complement to first baseman Bobby Dalbec who can also give the team depth at virtually every position except, perhaps, center field.
González struggled in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, when he hit .211/.286/.320 with five homers in 53 games for the Twins in the second season of a two-year, $21 million deal. But his strikeout and walk rates suggested that his quality approach at the plate remained intact, and his average exit velocity and hard contact rate were roughly in line with his career norms.
The Red Sox are hoping to benefit from a player who, from 2016-19 with the Astros and Twins, hit .267/.329/.438 while playing every position in the infield and outfield. (In 2020, he primarily stayed in the infield, playing first, second, and third for the Twins while also spending some time in right field.) González has enjoyed similar success from both sides of the plate in his career, posting a .261/.321/.411 line against righties and .261/.307/.416 line against lefties.
The deal, which has not been finalized, would reunite González with the organization of which he was a member for approximately five minutes in December 2011. The Red Sox selected him from the Cubs in the Rule 5 Draft but almost immediately traded him to the Astros for righthander Marco Duarte. It also would reacquaint González and Cora, who were together with the Astros in 2017.
At the same time, the signing would pair González with Hernández, who signed a two-year, $14 million deal last month, giving the Sox two of the most versatile players in the majors, and providing Cora with an enormous array of lineup options.