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Free agent Gabriel Guerrero announces minor league deal with Marlins

Nephew of a Hall of Famer and cousin of baseball’s No. 1 prospect, Guerrero is coming off a strong season in the Reds organization.

Cincinnati Reds v Miami Marlins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

He’s the fourth-most famous professional baseball player in his own family, but the Marlins will take it: free agent outfielder Gabriel Guerrero has signed with Miami on a minor league deal.

Guerrero, who turns 25 next month, made the announcement Thursday in his Instagram story. The caption reads, “Thank you my Father for this new opportunity.” (The Marlins have not confirmed the news yet.)

He’s coming off a productive year with the Reds, slashing .292/.326/.475 with 17 home runs in 432 plate appearances for Triple-A Louisville. That earned him his first MLB call-up in September. Guerrero is currently getting extra work with Estrellas Orientales in the Dominican Winter League. Guess what happened in his very first game after joining the Fish?

Guerrero shares some tendencies with his Hall of Fame uncle. He’s drawn only 198 unintentional walks in 3,612 career minor league plate appearances (5.48 percent); Vlad owned a 5.38 percent unintentional walk rate in the majors. Gabriel also has a strange aversion to taking hit by pitches with only nine so far in affiliated ball. Derek Dietrich could show him his “technique” in spring training...if Dietz is still with the club by then.

Guerrero’s father, Wilton, was a utility player who earned major league reps with four different franchises. Gabriel has bounced around a bit, too. He got his initial opportunity from the Mariners in 2011, and even then, wasn’t regarded as a potential star.

This is the second signing by the Marlins since hauling in the Mesa brothers last month. Amateur free agent catcher Derek Vegas came aboard on Nov. 2, according to the team’s official website. Although they haven’t lost any talent to major league free agency, Guerrero helps to replace depth players who were recently freed from their contracts.

Even if they retain all arbitration-eligible players, the Marlins currently have a projected 2019 payroll in the $80-85 million range. With the strong possibility of a non-tender or blockbuster trade, that leaves the front office ample room to add more established players on major league deals.