Brewers Sign Alex Gonzalez

TUESDAY, 7:23pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter) that the deal is worth $4.25MM. A $4MM option for 2013 will vest with 525 plate appearances, a level Gonzalez has reached in each of the last two seasons.

MONDAY, 11:18am: The Brewers announced the signing of shortstop Alex Gonzalez today. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first tweeted news of the agreement last week, noting that it's a one-year deal with a vesting option for 2013.  Gonzalez will take over as Milwaukee's starting shortstop, a position occupied by Yuniesky Betancourt this year.  Gonzalez is represented by Eric Goldschmidt.  

Gonzalez, 34, hit .241/.270/.372 with 15 home runs in 593 plate appearances for the Braves in 2011.  UZR suggests Gonzalez was average defensively this year and above-average from 2006-10.  Gonzalez seems to represent an upgrade over Betancourt, but not by much.  In November, the Braves elected not to offer arbitration to Gonzalez, so they won't be receiving a supplemental draft pick for the loss.  The Cardinals and Giants had also been linked to Gonzalez.  

As our free agent tracker shows, the list of available shortstops includes Betancourt, Ronny Cedeno,Nick Punto, and Jimmy Rollins.  Most of the clubs that lost or need shortstops, such as the Giants, Braves, Rays, Mets, Phillies, and Astros, say they have acceptable internal candidates.  It doesn't seem like Rollins has much leverage to extract a big five-year deal out of the Phillies. 

104 Responses to Brewers Sign Alex Gonzalez Leave a Reply

  1. InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

    At least he’s an upgrade from Yuni. Although anybody is

    • chico65 4 years ago

      Yeah, but not quite Reyes though, as some Brewers fans were hoping, and he certainly won’t be making up any of the offense they’re losing with Prince.

      • Nobody with a brain was seriously expecting (or hoping for) Reyes. The Brewers needed a plus defender at SS, anything more would have been a bonus. Now they need to make a play for Ramirez or possibly a journeyman 1b (Pena?).

        • chico65 4 years ago

          Pena might not be bad, though he’s not going to come cheap- I’d expect 8-11 MM a year over 2 or 3 year.  He’d do a good job of replacing Prince’s power though, and is a good defender at first. 

  2. SunsetStripper 4 years ago

    Thank christ.  Anybody is better than Betancourt

  3. Not pretty, but a lot prettier than Yuni.  Probably the best move for the team, K-Rod having likely priced us out of Furcal’s range for the moment.

    • bobskube 4 years ago

      Thank God on the second part too.  Furcal will be wildly overpaid.

      • You’re probably right, love the upside Furcal could potentially bring, but DL stints require capable backups–something the Brewers do not have at SS.

        • bobskube 4 years ago

          Pretty much my thinking.  We’re lucky to get one shortstop who has a pulse, much less two.

  4. Mark Liermann 4 years ago

    What ?!   No Yuni ?

  5. bobskube 4 years ago

    Praise Jesus.  Goodbye Betancourt.  I don’t even care what they paid Gonzalez.

  6. CyYoungSuppan 4 years ago

    Glad it doesn’t say Rollins in the title.

    • nm344 4 years ago

      Rollins is three times the player

      • CyYoungSuppan 4 years ago

        Good thing I never claimed otherwise then, huh?  Rollins is vastly overrated and will be paid that way.  

    • Yet if the Brewers did sign Rollins I’m sure you would’ve changed your tune.

      • CyYoungSuppan 4 years ago

        What makes you say that?  I can assure you that isn’t the case.  I am not a homer and can realize when a player gets paid too much.

  7. Before anyone flips out, Alex Gonzalez had a 1.1 fWAR last year compared to Betancourt’s 0.5. Betancourt was paid 4.35 mil last year, so as long as Gonzalez is the same or less money, its an upgrade at no cost.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      No one is flipping out… everyone is clearly happy if you read the comments.

      • bobskube 4 years ago

        For those of you not in KC or Seattle, you just wouldn’t understand what it’s like watching Betancourt play.  It’s like punching yourself in the groin for 2 1/2 hours every night.  Hence the excitement of a 0.6 WAR upgrade.

        • That is EXACTLY what it’s like watching Yuni play. No more watching balls get through the left side of the infield and wondering where Yuni was, only to see on the replay that he never even moved towards it. I don’t care if Gonzalez hits .143 next year, this is a breath of fresh air.

      • I wrote it before i read the other comments

  8. bobthemonkey 4 years ago

    Enjoy the rally killing GIDPs, Brewers.

  9. ChiCubs13 4 years ago

    I don’t really see the upgrade here between him and Yuni, but at least it is only a one year contract with a vesting option.

  10. Flharfh 4 years ago

    Oh hosanna its the lesser of two evils

  11. AP Baseball 4 years ago

    Possibly saving some funds to acquire Aramis Ramirez???

  12. Yeah Brewers got a cry baby! Im so glad the Braves didnt bring him back! Yuck!

    • Cry baby > mailbox at SS

    • I don’t remember Sea Bass crying…I remember a lot I wish I could unsee, like not running out grounders, but not crying.

      Dude’s face just looks pouty…


  13. Tyler Sekula 4 years ago

    Good pick up for them

  14. Boy they sure only care about one style of baseball in brewer land.


  15. Triple Hawpes Brewed 4 years ago


    – Every Braves fan out there

    • Until they have to sign Yuni to play SS, of course. 

      • TimotheusATL 4 years ago

        you mean a gritty sure-handed veteran who plays underrated defense and flashes of power?

        *rolls eyes*

        • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I liked this, but only because it’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

      • 14 Rocks 4 years ago

        The Braves have an in-house option at shortstop next season, Tyler Pastornicky.  He will hit better than Sea Bass but he won’t play defense as well.

        • Most reports I have heard claim Pastornicky is not ready, they probably are looking for a one year stopgap still.

          • 14 Rocks 4 years ago

            Nope, the Braves are only looking for a utility infielder.  It is Tyler’s job to lose out of ST.

  16. hallwagner 4 years ago

    congrats brewers, you signed the only free agent SS who’s worse than betancourt

    • That would be true if Betancourt were not the worst free agent SS, which he is.

  17. Jakmagic 4 years ago

    Now Melvin should go for A. Ramirez or C. Beltran. I would prefer Ramirez. Iff it were Beltran, the Crew could move Hart to first base. Also one interesting player is C. Pena. If Pena was pursued by the Crew I would pray that they would go after Ramirez with him just because Ramirez is more consistant. Ramirez’s batting average is pretty much garanteed to be 100 points higher than Pena’s. All three players could benefit from the friendly hitters park that Miller park provides.

    • AP Baseball 4 years ago

      Ramirez would be a great pick-up. Silver Slugger winner, batted .306, 96 or so RBI, 20+ HR. Plus, he killed us…..always…..when we faced the Cubs. That would likely complete our free agent acquistions

      • SunsetStripper 4 years ago

        The Brewer’s are done spending.  Probably grab a couple of cheap relievers and that will be it.  Brewer’s don’t have the money for Ramirez.

    • I don’t see the Brewers moving Hart to 1B.  Melvin has already said he wouldn’t do that, but if past says anything, it is that anything can still happen.  Brewers also are going to be tied down with K-Rod’s salary, so I don’t see them making too many big moves the rest of this offseason.  They will definitely go after a reliever or two, and also some depth for the bench. 

  18. craigkimbrelfan 4 years ago

    Dude is frustrating as anyone with the bat…mostly because he has the ability to hit but just chooses not to for some reason.  But damn…he makes SS look so damn pretty.  Been a Sea Bass fan for years…was delighted to have him in Atlanta for a while.

    • nm344 4 years ago

      He’s flashy, but his range isnt that great. 

      • craigkimbrelfan 4 years ago

        I mean…for 34 the range is about as good as it’s gonna get.  If you watch him play every night (maybe you did) you see tons of smooth glove and foot work that just doesn’t make it on to ESPN. 

      • Range is decent, arm is cannon.


        • nm344 4 years ago

          Yeah, arm is great.. But he did get negative UZR last year

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            DRS and +/- thought he was a boss, though (+15, +17) and so did TZL (+11)

  19. brewersnrays 4 years ago

    I’d love to see the Brewers make a play for Kendrys Morales.  If it’s true he’s about to get nontendered, why not offer the Angels something of semi-value and see if they bite? Maybe Manny Parra?

    • Parra is going to be a big piece of the bullpen this year. The Crew desperately needed a left handed arm last year

      • brewersnrays 4 years ago

        As desperately as any 96 win team in baseball, I suppose.  I’d rather take my chances with Braddock as our lefty, especially if the Angels would be open to swapping the two none-tender candidates of Morales and Parra.

        • That would be pretty solid. A Morales/Gamel platoon would be alright in my book.

    • SunsetStripper 4 years ago

      Morales might not be healthy still.  I agree though, the Brewer’s should look into this guy.

    • bobskube 4 years ago

      Done.  Manny Parra is garbage, but he’s better than nothing.

      I guess.

      • Manny has a lot of upside as a reliever, assuming he comes back healthy. I’m optimistic.

        • bobskube 4 years ago

          Well, we found something to disagree on.  I said before last year I’d trade him for anything, and I still feel that way. 

        • You obviously haven’t seen Parra for a few years.

          It’s really a shame, but he’s a completely different guy than he was his first couple seasons.  A total mess.  I wouldn’t rely on him to preserve a 3 run lead.

          • All I said was that he has a lot of upside, which I honestly believe. He has plenty of talent, just needs to get his head straight. He’ll never be a SP, but he can certainly thrive as a reliever. Just don’t let any hitters see him more than twice in a game.

            Having said that, 1.2 mil (or whatever he’s due this year) is probably a bit much and if the Angels would trade for Morales even up, I’d do that all day long and roll the dice with Braddock this year. Platoon him (Morales)with Gamel and that would be plenty of offense, assuming they can figure out a way to afford Ramirez at 3rd.

  20. Jays-4-Lyfe 4 years ago

    Off topic here sorry, but is Joel Zumaya a FA?

    Would he be worth a shot to anyone?

    • MetsMagic 4 years ago

      Yes, he is. If he’s willing to come back on a minor league deal with incentives, he is more than worth it. 

  21. 14 Rocks 4 years ago

    That roar you hear is Braves fans everywhere celebrating madly.

    • Nope, that’s Brewer fans out in the streets celebrating the end of Yuni’s reign of terror.

  22. BraveCrowe 4 years ago

    Serious question here, Who is going to Translate for B-mac now when we have Viz on the mound? I am sure someone else here noticed that?

  23. Alex Gonzalez is as good a fielding shortstop as anyone in the National League. UZR suggests that he was average, and he wasn’t. Tremendous defender, DRS agrees, as did anyone who followed the Braves last year.

  24. chee1rs 4 years ago

    good field … no bat

  25. dinoes 4 years ago

    So glad the giants didn’t sign him.

  26. coolstorybro222 4 years ago

    Come on braves, sign punto now. It’s logical. 

  27. At the end of last season I think all Braves fans and Brewers fans would have agreed to an Agonz-YuBet trade. Both are very impatient and frustrating, Yubet seems to have not reached his ceiling and strikes out considerably less is why he’s my preference personally. Thank said, I’m AMAZED he’s had a starting job for six consecutive years.

    I’d rather the Braves bring back Jack Wilson, he’s a ton of fun to watch in the field and gives that same no offense feel for cheaper.

    • Jeff 4 years ago

      No way would I have wanted YuBet.  A-Gon at least had some value.

      Jack Wilson would be a good backup/insurance policy.

      $4m for A-Gon is ridiculous.  He’s worth half that.

  28. At the end of last season I think all Braves fans and Brewers fans would have agreed to an Agonz-YuBet trade. Both are very impatient and frustrating, Yubet seems to have not reached his ceiling and strikes out considerably less is why he’s my preference personally. Thank said, I’m AMAZED he’s had a starting job for six consecutive years.

    I’d rather the Braves bring back Jack Wilson, he’s a ton of fun to watch in the field and gives that same no offense feel for cheaper.

  29. Mark Liermann 4 years ago

    If you combine strike-outs with pop-outs, I bet they are almost identical.

    Besides, a K is better than a pop-out, since on occasion, a k will result in a passed ball more often than a pop-out will result in a drop (infield fly rule).

    • Not to mention that a K increases pitch count, unlike Yuni’s constant first pitch swinging shenanigans. The intangible stuff like that makes Gonzalez the far more attractive option.

  30. InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

    Why don’t you ever type all that you wish to say in one comment?

  31. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    i’m guessing he’s like 11 years old. he should be trading baseball cards somewhere without an internet-connected device. at least then he’d learn the players’ names

  32. SixtoLezcano 4 years ago

    Alex Gonzalez, last two seasons: 4.5 fWAR
    Yuniesky Betancourt, entire career: 3.3 fWAR

  33. Its an upgrade from completely hideous to a plus defender but OBP black hole. 

  34. Number of times Yuni popped out on the first pitch with 2 outs and RISP last year: 3,425

  35. sure, but Gonzalez also only has 13.5 fWAR in 13 seasons of which only 1.1 came in 2011. 3.4 of the 4.5 came in 2010 alone. 

    He really isn’t much of an improvement unless you get 2010 Alex Gonzalez (i.e., near career year Alex Gonzalez)

  36. Flharfh 4 years ago

    Alex Gonzalez Career OBP:    .291
    Yuni Betancourt Career OBP: .292

  37. Mark Liermann 4 years ago

    Same offense, better defense equals WIN!

  38. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    that’s not even much of an exaggeration. 17% of his balls in play were infield popups. he popped up in the infield exactly as often as he hit a line-drive. that with a walk-rate under 3% while swinging at pitches out of the zone 40% of the time

    i award him the jeff mathis medal of GTFO

  39. I think he may have gotten so excited due to the prospect of having no more Betancourt that he just posted it out of disbelief.

  40. John 4 years ago

    I guess you should stick to your day job

  41. Reaper87 4 years ago

    I’ve never been a Brewers or Royals fan, so I never watched him closely, but if those are accurate that’d make me sick as a fan too. Brandon Crawford is twice the player those stats indicate, and I’m not exactly excited about the possibility of him starting at SS for the Giants

  42. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    hide your kids, hide your wife

  43. nm344 4 years ago

    Yeah guys who average 3WAR in down years really suck. 

  44. CyYoungSuppan 4 years ago

    lol@you thinking last year with a 3WAR was a down year.  It was his best WAR in the last four years.

  45. nm344 4 years ago

    2008 – 5.6
    2009 – 3.0
    2010 – 2.5 (half season)
    2011 – 3.8

    You’re not very bright, are you?

  46. CyYoungSuppan 4 years ago

    2008 – 3.6
    2009 – 1.0
    2010 – 2.0
    2011 – 3.7

    According to the link above.  Intelligence has a lot to do with nothing here, big guy.  Keep with being a prophet and saying he will EASILY earn his next contract.

  47. nm344 4 years ago

    at 12 to 14 mil/year for 3-4 years, he certainly will.

  48. Todd Smith 4 years ago

    Betancourt has a career -48.4 UZR at SS.  Gonzalez has a career 44.3 UZR at SS.  Wow, that’s massive.  Having not really followed either player all that much, I’m actually pretty shocked.

  49. This is the correct answer.

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