Mike Gonzalez Rumors
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 Indians, White 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
A few items of note out of MLB's Central divisions ...
- The Indians are interested in signing free-agent reliever Mike Gonzalez, tweets Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, although it may depend on the health progress of dinged up relievers Rafael Perez and Chris Perez. Rafael has battled left shoulder soreness while Chris was sidelined early in spring by a left oblique injury.
- The Tigers appear unlikely to acquire a fifth starter via trade, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. Andy Oliver and Drew Smyly are the front runners to be Detroit's fifth starter, Knobler adds.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin said there were recent talks between the organization and John Axford's agent, Dan Horwits, but Melvin characterized them as "just a conversation," tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The Brewers and Axford have been rumored to be discussing an extension, and MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith recently examined what such an extension might look like.
Most of us thought the Yankees were done improving their rotation after acquiring Michael Pineda and signing Hiroki Kuroda, but they added one more veteran piece on Friday. Andy Pettitte decided to come out of retirement and return his old team, signing a one-year, minor league deal worth $2.5MM with no incentives. He won't be ready for Opening Day, but will get back into shape early in the season before rejoining the team. Here's a bunch of news and reactions to the signing, with most links going to Twitter...
- "I am embarrassed to be coming back, but what can I do? My desire has changed," said Pettitte to reporters (including Mark Feinsand of The New York Daily News and Joel Sherman of The New York Post) in a conference call this afternoon. "It was the Yankees or nothing," he added.
- Dialogue between Pettitte and GM Brian Cashman started back in December according to Jack Curry of The YES Network. The team originally offered a one-year deal worth $10-12MM, but the left-hander wanted to work out for six weeks to see how he felt.
- The two sides spoke sporadically over the last year according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The Yankees checked in with Pettitte before signing Kuroda in mid-January, but at that point he wasn't sure if he would return.
- The Yankees had maxed out their budget by the time Pettitte said he wanted to pitch, so owner Hal Steinbrenner had to authorize the signing according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch.
- The two sides explored a number of different financial packages, including a personal services contract that would not have counted against the luxury tax according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- ESPN's Buster Olney says the Yankees could have signed Mike Gonzalez two weeks ago, but turned it down because of that budget. Pettitte's history with the team worked in his favor.
- The Yankees are very open to trading their excess starting pitching, reports Olney. In addition to Pettitte, they have CC Sabathia, Pineda, Kuroda, Freddy Garcia, Phil Hughes, and Ivan Nova penciled into the rotation.
- Sherman wouldn't be surprised if the Yankees shopped Garcia if they feel Pettitte could help this season. Garcia could be an affordable alternative for clubs looking at Joe Blanton or John Lannan.
- “I don’t think he’s coming back to where he was, call it a hunch," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine to reporters (including Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald). "But he’s a good pitcher. Always respected Andy. Always thought he was a borderline Hall of Famer. Add someone like that to your staff, you’re doing good.”