The Arizona Diamondbacks have brought Lourdes Gurriel Jr. back into the fold. The left fielder has re-upped with the Snakes on a three-year deal valued at $42 million, which comes to an average annual value of $14 million a year. The contract reportedly has an opt-out after the second season and a fourth-year team option worth $14 million. Ken Rosenthal broke the new signing:
The D-Backs acquired Gurriel Jr. last off-season in the trade that sent Daulton Varsho to the Toronto Blue Jays. They also acquired backstop Gabriel Moreno in a trade that looks very lopsided now. Gurriel was a solid hitter for the D-Backs, batting .261/.309/.463 with a .329 wOBA and 106 wRC+. His 5.6% walk rate is typical for him, but he struck out in just 17.4% of his 592 plate appearances. Gurriel also hit for good pop, going yard a career-high 24 times with 35 doubles and an isolated slugging percentage of .201.
He also came up big with the bat during the playoffs. In 78 plate appearances, Gurriel had 20 hits and seven extra-base hits. That includes three home runs and four doubles. He only walked twice and had 14 strikeouts, but he also made some nice plays in left field.
Gurriel was arguably the best defensive left fielder in the National League last season. He had +14 defensive runs saved and +2 outs above average. The former was only surpassed by Steven Kwan in DRS in all of MLB, while Christian Yelich (+4) and Eddie Rosario (+3) outdid Gurriel Jr. in OAA. However, no left fielder with 500+ innings played at the position had a higher UZR/150, clocking in at +16.7.
Gurriel Jr. also played 50 games as the Diamondbacks’ designated hitter, but with how good he was in left field this year, they’ll probably make him the full-time LF this season and bring in someone else as the primary designated hitter. He at least should have been a Gold Glove finalist this season.
It’s a bit of a surprise that Gurriel has resigned with the Diamondbacks. Early in the off-season, it looked as if Gurriel was ready to part ways with Arizona. Regardless, Gurriel is back for another few years. This contract carries Gurriel through his age-34 season at the very most. Gurriel will likely join Alek Thomas and Corbin Carroll as the primary outfield trio for the 2024 season and beyond. It also brings in another bat that could hit 20+ home runs next season alongside Carroll, Ketel Marte, and Christian Walker.