5:25pm: The Angels have some interest in Gonzalez, but they aren’t aggressively pursuing him, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). Gonzalez originally signed with the Angels as an amateur free agent in 2004 and was with the organization through 2007.
3:46pm: Four teams are known to be interested in Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, with the White Sox “aggressively pursuing” his services, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter link). The Athletics, Blue Jays and Marlins are also interested, he adds.
Gonzalez was placed on release waivers yesterday, and if he isn’t claimed within the 48-hour period, the O’s will be on the hook for roughly a quarter of his $5.1MM salary for the 2016 season. A claiming team would take on the entire $5.1MM figure, so it only makes sense that some clubs are waiting until Gonzalez officially becomes a free agent to make a play for the 31-year-old.
The White Sox are set at the top of the rotation with Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Carlos Rodon, though there’s uncertainty in the last two spots. Offseason signing Mat Latos struggled in 2015 and has been hit hard this spring, while John Danks is looking to rebound after several rough seasons. Though Gonzalez himself struggled last year, he would provide some experienced depth or even a rotation alternative for Chicago.
The A’s, Jays and Marlins could likewise use some extra pitching depth, as all three teams are using some fairly inexperienced arms. While all have options behind the opening units, added depth never hurts. Toronto will go with Aaron Sanchez as its fifth starter to begin the season but Sanchez will eventually be moved to the bullpen as he approaches an innings cap. The A’s have Sonny Gray, Rich Hill, Kendall Graveman, Chris Bassitt and Felix Doubront slated as the starting five, with Henderson Alvarez expected to join the staff in May when he’s recovered from shoulder surgery. Miami announced yesterday that Adam Conley, Tom Koehler and Jarred Cosart would back up Jose Fernandez and Wei-Yin Chen in its rotation; Justin Nicolino is likely the sixth man in the organization.
Gonzalez posted a 3.45 ERA, 6.45 K/9 and 2.22 K/BB rate over 435 2/3 innings with the Orioles from 2012-14, though advanced metrics were far less bullish on his performance due to a low BABIP and very high strand rate during those three seasons. Those two statistics normalized last season and Gonzalez struggled, managing only a 4.91 ERA in 144 2/3 innings. The Orioles avoided arbitration with the righty by agreeing to that $5.1MM contract but after Gonzalez struggled in Spring Training, cut him from the rotation in favor of Mike Wright.