3) Astros will say goodbye to Yuli Gurriel
Yuli Gurriel has never played for a different major league team. His career in North America started at age 32 in 2016. He has experienced a variety of results from winning the 2021 American League batting title and a Gold Glove to whatever it is that’s happening this season.
Now 38, this Astros mainstay is a free agent at the end of the year and someone that Houston should turn away from.
Gurriel may have finally reached his twilight after a terrific 2021 campaign that saw him doing everything but feel his age. First base is a rough position to not get much offense from. Whether they go young, old, internally, or externally, it’s not a spot to ignore from an offensive standpoint.
Only his age would suggest Gurriel could call it quits after this season. He’s older than Brantley but has been far healthier in recent years. It wouldn’t be a total shock if he hangs up his cleats. It also doesn’t feel like he’ll go out already.
For some quick housekeeping, the Astros do have some other notable free agents. All of their catchers are hitting the open market and we should expect them to move on from at least one of those players. Then there’s Justin Verlander and his player option. Verlander pitching anywhere but Houston feels too wrong. Look for him to get a sweetheart deal to stay in Houston for at least another year—maybe even two.