Orioles Sign Mike Gonzalez

The Orioles signed lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez to a two-year deal worth $12MM guaranteed, as first reported by Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.  Gonzalez is likely to close for the O's, and Yahoo's Tim Brown tweeted that he can earn another $4MM in incentives.  Since the Braves offered arbitration to Gonzalez, a Type A free agent, the Orioles will surrender their second-round pick (currently #44) to them.

Gonzalez, 32 in May, attracted strong interest this winter (at least according to Scott Boras).  For the Braves this year he posted a 2.42 ERA, 10.9 K/9, and 4.0 BB/9 in a career-high 74.3 innings.  He saved ten games, with Rafael Soriano getting the Braves' other chances.  Gonzalez had Tommy John surgery in May of '07 and made it back to the Majors about a year later.  He missed some time in July of this year with elbow tendinitis, but says the injuries are completely behind him.

Dan Connolly's Baltimore Sun article has quotes from Gonzalez, Orioles president Andy MacPhail, and manager Dave Trembley.  So far this winter the Orioles have added Gonzalez, Kevin Millwood, and Garrett Atkins (at a total cost of $25MM), but Trembley said he doesn't think MacPhail is done yet.

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