Miami Marlins Losing Their Grip On A Former Batting Champ

Last weekend, it seemed a certainty that the Miami Marlins were about to land their second batting champion in two days, as the word spread that they were on the verge of signing Yuli Gurriel. But those plans seem to be taking an unexpected twist right now. 

It was noted on Saturday from a few major league sources that the Marlins were "moving toward a deal" with the 38-year-old first baseman, but the two sides have obviously hit a snag, according to Marlins beat writers Barry Jackson and Craig Mish, as talked have cooled.

Gurriel won the AL batting crown in 2021 with the Houston Astros, with a .319 mark, and his addition would have given the Fish two batting champions in two days, as they traded for 2022 batting champ Luis Arraez from the Minnesota Twins on Friday. 

The Cuban first baseman Gurriel cooled off last season, seeing his average drop nearly 80 points to the .242 mark, while his OPS plummeted 200 points from .846 in 2021 to just .647 last year. But overall, in his seven years in the majors, he does sport a .284 average and a .776 OPS, with an OPS+ of 110, 10% better than the average hitter. 

He's now the last viable first baseman available on the free agent market, after the other, Jesus Aguilar, signed a deal today. 

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports