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Yuli Gurriel takes pay cut to $7M to stay with Astros

The deal was announced hours before the defending American League champions started their first-round playoff matchup against at Minnesota.
Credit: AP
Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel, center, mimics waving to the fans in an empty Minute Maid Park as Martin Maldonado, right, laughs as they leave the field after their win against the Arizona Diamondbacks to end their regular season Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

HOUSTON — First baseman Yuli Gurriel and the Houston Astros have agreed to a one-year contract with an option for 2022 that guarantees $7 million, a cut of nearly 20 percent from his 2020 contract.

The deal was announced hours before the defending American League champions started their first-round playoff matchup against at Minnesota, an odd time to announce a contract for a future season.

Gurriel’s 2020 contract called for an $8.3 million salary and wound up being worth $3,074,074 prorated. His new deal includes a $6.5 million salary for 2021 and an $8 million club option for 2021 with a $500,000 buyout.

Gurriel, 36, has spent the last five seasons with the Astros. In those 5 seasons, he's posted a .287 (565x1971) batting average with 71 home runs and 301 RBI.

Since signing with Houston in 2016, Gurriel ranks second in batting average, fourth in RBI, fourth in slugging percentage (.478), fourth in extra-base hits (168) and sixth in OPS (.808) among AL first basemen. Gurriel had his best season in 2019 in which he hit .298 with career highs in home runs (31), RBI (104) and OPS (.884).