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. 

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