MLB Rumors: 3 Top Landing Spots For Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Many Toronto Blue Jays fans were wondering why outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had to be thrown in to the Gabby Moreno for Daulton Varsho trade last winter. And as the 2023 season wore on, and now into the playoffs, it continues to look like a more confounding mistake than ever. 

Gurriel Jr. and his Arizona Diamondbacks have outstripped all expectations this season, reaching the World Series. Whether they ultimately come up short in this series or not, both Gurriel and the team have greatly improved their stock moving forward. 

The 30-year-old Cuban hit his 3rd home run of the playoffs in Game 4 of the World Series Tuesday night, and is now hitting .357 in the championship round with a .946 OPS. On the season, he slashed .261/.309/.463 with 35 doubles, 24 home runs and 82 RBIs. And while his outfield defense was never appreciated in Toronto (where it was even sometimes ridiculed), he also had 14 Defensive Runs Saved, 2nd-best in all of baseball for left fielders.

But Gurriel will now become a free agent as soon as the Series is over, and will far surpass his last contract of 7 years, $22M. 

Let's have a look at three teams that will be in on the Gurriel bandwagon this winter:

Arizona Diamondbacks

Yes, the incumbent D-Backs were certainly thrilled with the performance they got from a "throw-in" in the embarrassingly lopsided trade which also landed them their catcher of the present and future for years to come. 

But after rookie sensation Corbin Caroll in right field and Gold Glove finalist Alek Thomas in center, the Snakes' outfield pickings—for a team that's clearly ready to compete right now—going forward are a bit iffy. If the price and term is right, they would like to have Gurriel back.

Seattle Mariners

The M's will likely be losing corner outfielder Teoscar Hernandez to free agency this winter and will be in the market for a replacement. That is, if they don't throw all of their efforts behind trying to land Shohei Ohtani as a DH. Failing that, the outfield class in this year's free agency is pretty thin. 

“It’s not as robust a class as has been the case in the last couple of years,” GM Jerry Dipoto said. That could mean an attempt to add Gurriel, if they lose out on the DH Ohtani and their own Hernandez.

Atlanta Braves

After Ronald Acuna Jr. and Michael Harris III, the Braves have had trouble filling that third outfield spot, and Gurriel would be a perfect fit for them in left. And while former Braves Adam Duvall and Joc Pederson may be Braves fans' preferred choices to fill that outfield void, Gurriel might be a smarter signing. 

Photo: Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK