Yuli Gurriel’s five-year, $47.5M contract with the Astros affords him the opportunity to opt in to MLB’s arbitration system once eligible, but he’ll forgo that right and play out the 2020 season on the original $8.3M salary dictated by the contract, tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
Although Gurriel will have only four-plus years of service time when his contract expires at the conclusion of the 2020 season — as opposed to the six years typically required to become a free agent — he’ll nevertheless head to the open market next winter. Gurriel’s contract stipulates that he be released by the Astros upon completion of the deal at the end of the 2020 season, thus allowing him an opportunity to once again test free agency.
One of the premier players in Cuba throughout the 2000s, Gurriel left his home country in early 2016 alongside his younger brother, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Both have since realized their dream of playing in the majors. The elder Gurriel has remained a productive hitter into his mid-30s and, in 2019, turned in the best season of his career at the plate. In 612 plate appearances as Houston’s primary first baseman, he slashed .298/.343/.541 with 31 home runs, 40 doubles and a pair of triples.