Mike Gonzalez Rumors

Quick Hits: Cardinals, Nationals, Rodriguez

Congratulations to Buster Posey and Fernando Rodney, who were named MLB.com’s comeback players of the year for their respective leagues. Rodney had a historic season, posting a 0.60 ERA and striking out more than a batter per inning in Tampa Bay. Posey had an MVP-caliber year after missing most of the 2011 season with a broken leg and damaged ankle ligaments. Here are today’s links…

  • The Cardinals, now just one win away from another World Series appearance, are doing just fine without Albert Pujols, Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes. St. Louis’ roster looks just as scary as it did a year ago thanks to an abundance of homegrown contributors.
  • The Cardinals are believed to have offered Pujols a seven-year deal with three player options last offseason, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reports. St. Louis GM John Mozeliak said Pujols was a "special part" of the organization. "In a normal — or in a more sterile — environment, we wouldn't pursue those types of things," the GM told Shaikin.
  • The Nationals' bullpen might be overhauled this offseason, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes. Sean Burnett will likely hit free agency and Tyler Clippard could be traded. The Nationals figure to tender Tom Gorzelanny a contract and should have interest in re-signing Mike Gonzalez. Kilgore wonders if Ryan Madson could be a free agent target for Washington.
  • An American League scout suggested to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that no teams would be interested in Alex Rodriguez, who’s owed $114MM plus bonuses over the course of the next five years (Twitter link). For more on the Yankees’ offseason plans check out this collection of links.

East Links: Gonzalez, Red Sox, Yankees, Nationals

The Yankees announced that Andy Pettitte will make his return to the team this Sunday against the Mariners. The 39-year-old left-hander came out of retirement during Spring Training to re-sign with New York. Here's the latest out of baseball's two East divisions…

Nationals Sign Mike Gonzalez

The Nationals announced that they have signed left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez (Twitter link). Gonzalez, a client of the Boras Corporation, will report to Viera, the team announced. He signed a minor league deal, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post tweets.

Gonzalez posted a 4.39 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 53 1/3 innings for the Orioles and Rangers in 2011. The IndiansWhite Sox and Athletics had some interest in the 33-year-old, who turned down a minor league offer from the Rangers this spring. Scott Boras has said Gonzalez is returning to health following offseason knee surgery.

The Nationals' bullpen currently includes left-handers Sean Burnett and Tom Gorzelanny. As MLBTR's Agency Database shows, the Boras Corporation represents a considerable number of players on Washington's roster.

Quick Hits: Gonzalez, Pujols, Young, Royals

Vladimir Guerrero looked pretty good in his workout for the Diamondbacks, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links). Arizona has some interest in signing the veteran DH, but he's still considered a long shot according to Heyman. Here links for Monday…

  • The Rays are a "possible fit" for Mike Gonzalez, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Last week we heard that the left-handed reliever could sign within ten days.
  • Albert Pujols told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he’s comfortable in Anaheim even though he hasn’t hit like a $240MM player since signing with the Angels.“Why not? This is my family,” he said. “These guys are my family. I feel pretty comfortable.”
  • Ken Davidoff of the New York Post suggests the Tigers could release Delmon Young to make a statement about the conduct they expect from their players without hurting their team in the standings.
  • Jim Callis of Baseball America will be very surprised if the Royals don't select a college pitcher with their top pick in the upcoming amateur draft. Callis suggests the Royals could take Louisiana State right-hander Kevin Gausman with the fifth overall selection.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

Red Sox Notes: Mike Gonzalez, Aaron Cook

Carl Crawford had his strained left elbow examined in Boston today, though the team is still "gathering information" according to manager Bobby Valentine. Crawford had been expected to rejoin the team in early-May, but the results of these latest tests are not available yet. Here's the latest from Beantown…

  • The Red Sox are not interested in Mike Gonzalez, reports Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). Yesterday we heard that the left-handed reliever could sign within ten days.
  • “I’ll make a decision when I feel like it’s time to make a decision,” said Aaron Cook to WEEI.com's Rob Bradford. Cook is pitching well in Triple-A and can opt out of his contract with Boston on May 1st. “I haven’t made a decision yet," he added.
  • In an Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Jim Bowden listed five moves that could fix the Red Sox, including trades for Miguel Montero and Huston Street.

Boras: Mike Gonzalez Close To Signing New Deal

Free agent reliever Mike Gonzalez is throwing bullpen sessions for suitors and agent Scott Boras tells MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan that he expects his client “should sign in the next ten days” with a new team.  Boras also noted that Gonzalez is close to being completely recovered from offseason knee surgery.

Gonzalez, who turns 34 in May, posted a 4.39 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 2.43 K/BB rate and a 40.9% groundball rate in 56 appearances with the Orioles and Rangers in 2011.  The southpaw has been connected to the Cardinals, Yankees, Reds, Athletics, Red Sox, White Sox and Indians since the end of last season, and Gonzalez has already turned down at least two minor league contract offers from the Rangers and Angels.  Some of these teams have since filled their needs in the bullpen but it's very possible that other suitors in search of a left-handed arm have emerged.

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Angels Notes: Aybar, Gonzalez, Thompson

It's early, but this wasn't the start the Angels were hoping for. They've lost more games than they've won, allowed more runs than they've scored and Albert Pujols still isn't hitting. Here are some links as we await tonight's home game against the Athletics…

  • GM Jerry Dipoto told Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times that he remains very confident the Angels will be able to sign Erick Aybar long-term. “I'm very encouraged by where we are and that we will ultimately get there," he said. The Angels would prefer to sign Aybar for something close to Howie Kendrick’s four-year, $33.5MM extension, but the shortstop appears to be seeking at least five years and $50MM.
  • MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez hears the Angels offered free agent left-hander Mike Gonzalez the same minor league deal they offered Jason Isringhausen. Gonzalez seeks more money and wasn't interested, however.
  • There are no takers for Rich Thompson so far, Gonzalez writes. The Angels are shopping the recently-designated right-hander since his velocity is down and they don't trust him in high-leverage situations. The Angels would like to bring up ground ball pitcher David Carpenter.

Angels Notes: Pujols, Gonzalez, Aybar

The Angels will look to rebound from a 2-4 start to the season this weekend when they take on the Yankees in New York. Here are the latest Angels-related links…

  • Albert Pujols told reporters including Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com that he isn't sure if the contracts given to him, Prince Fielder, and Joey Votto are indicative of future deals for first basemen.
  • Pujols told reporters that he doesn’t miss St. Louis these days, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News tweets. "I'm way past that,” Pujols said. “I have a new family, new teammates."
  • Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said he is "looking under every rock" for relief help, Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times reports. However, there aren’t many quality relievers available, according to the GM.
  • Dipoto said he is not pursuing any free agent relievers, so it doesn’t sound as though Mike Gonzalez is in the Angels’ plans.
  • The Angels are "making progress" toward an extension for shortstop Erick Aybar, Dipoto told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. “I’m very confident that we’ll be able to get something done,” Dipoto said of Aybar, who's on track for free agency following the 2012 season.

Mike Gonzalez Auditioned For Reds

Mike Gonzalez was spotted throwing a bullpen session during an audition for the Reds at their Spring Training complex on Monday, reports Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. With Sean Marshall set to close following Ryan Madson's injury, Cincinnati could be looking to add a left-handed setup man.

Gonzalez, 33, remains a free agent despite recent interest from the Red Sox, Indians, White Sox, and Rangers. The lefty reliever had knee surgery early in the offseason and appears unwilling to sign a minor league contract at the moment.

Red Sox Monitoring Mike Gonzalez Market

The Red Sox are monitoring the market for left-handed reliever Mike Gonzalez, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweets. The Scott Boras client remains a free agent and intends to play in 2012.

The Indians and White Sox have been linked to Gonzalez this month, but the Athletics no longer seem interested and the 33-year-old turned down a minor league offer from the Rangers. “In these markets, sometimes late doesn't mean demand, it just means choice," Boras told Tim Dierkes three weeks ago.

Gonzalez posted a 4.39 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 53 1/3 innings for the Orioles and Rangers in 2011. Franklin Morales, Rich Hill, Felix Doubront and Andrew Miller are among Boston's left-handed options, but the latter two southpaws have been in the mix for rotation spots.