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Arizona Diamondbacks re-sign free agent Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

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Photo credit:Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
4 months ago
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is sticking around with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the 30-year-old outfielder has re-signed with the DBacks on a three-year contract worth $42 million. The deal also reportedly features a club option for a fourth season.
A native of Sancti Spiritus, Cuba, Gurriel Jr. signed a seven-year, $22 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays in November of 2016 as an international free agent. He was a star player in Cuba’s Serie Nacional and posted a .344 batting average and .867 OPS in his final season in the league before signing a big-league contract.
Gurriel Jr. spent the 2017 season playing with Toronto’s High-A and Double-A affiliates and was called up to make his Major League debut a few weeks into the 2018 season. He put up a .281 batting average and .755 OPS across 263 plate appearances as a rookie and cracked Toronto’s Opening Day lineup the following season in 2019.
After a rough first couple of weeks to the season, Gurriel Jr. was sent to Triple-A Buffalo for a month to work on his swing and approach. He was called back up to the Blue Jays in late May, slashed a .292/.339/.580 line over 299 plate appearances the rest of the way, and didn’t return to the minors again.
Between the 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons, Gurriel Jr. posted a .283 batting average and .830 OPS, but he saw a considerable decline in power during the 2022 season. He hit only five home runs in 493 trips to the plate and his slugging percentage dipped to .400, the lowest mark of his career in a single season by a wide margin.
After their ugly loss to the Seattle Mariners in the Wild Card round that fall, the Blue Jays actively sought to improve the team’s outfield defence. Raimel Tapia was non-tendered, Teoscar Hernandez was moved to the Seattle Mariners, Kevin Kiermaier was signed as a replacement, and Gurriel Jr. was traded to Arizona along with Gabriel Moreno for Daulton Varsho.
With Moreno as the centrepiece of the deal for the Diamondbacks, Gurriel Jr. was largely viewed as a throw-in who could be flipped ahead of the trade deadline. Instead, Gurriel Jr. wound up putting together an excellent bounce-back season playing in Arizona. He slashed a .261/.309/.463 line, hit a career-high 24 home runs, was named an All-Star for the first time, and helped the Diamondbacks reach the World Series.

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