MLB Rumors: What Yuli Gurriel Is Holding Out For

The free agent market is dwindling fast. Barely any notable names left out there. Unless, of course, you consider the 2021 AL batting champion notable. And let's agree that he certainly could be. Yuli Gurriel, former Houston Astros mainstay at first base, has yet to agree to a contract. 

According to MLB Insider Jon Heyman, the reason he hasn't signed anywhere yet, is that he is "telling folks he wants a guaranteed deal. So he may wait it out."

It's quite possible that plenty of non-guaranteed offers, or minor league deals have come his way, with a chance to earn a spot on the big league roster. But just one year removed from a batting crown, he's apparently not ready to take that kind of step back. 

It was a rough season in 2022 for the 38-year-old. He batted just .242 with a .647 OPS. His OPS+ left him 16% below the league-average hitter. His OPS ranked 89th among 92 hitters in baseball who had 500+ at-bats. And he was 31st among 34 qualified first basemen in hard-hit percentage.

As for his former team, the Astros, Gurriel is now seen as more of a "want" rather than a "need", according to new general manager Dana Brown. After all, the 'Stros now have a former AL MVP manning first base for them, with the offseason signing of Jose Abreu.

Still over a month for Gurriel to find a taker. But he might no longer be a regular, wherever he winds up.

  Photo: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports