Phillies Sign Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez – Phillies Nation

Phillies Sign Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez

Yahoo’s Jeff Passan is reporting that the Phillies have signed Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to a six year, $50 million pact that can be worth more than $60 million. Passan reports that the Phillies beat out the Red Sox to land Gonzalez. Gonzalez, 26, is a righty that reaches the mid-90s with a fastball and also has a “change-up, fork, and curveball,” according to DJ Short. Short notes that Gonzalez made a name for himself in the 2010 University Baseball Championships but has pitched sparingly since after being suspended for trying to flee Cuba.

The news comes as somewhat as a surprise and a bit oddly-timed as it was learned today from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that the Phillies were being peppered with offers for Cliff Lee. Lee is the best pitcher on the market – could Gonzalez’s signing be a sign that the Phillies are willing to trade him?



  1. G7

    July 26, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    How do you fly Cuba?

  2. Matthew Landis

    July 26, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Maybe they are keeping Lee, buying not selling.

  3. Bill

    July 26, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    The Phillies aren’t trading a former Cy Young winner just because they signed him. It means they’re serious about competing next year (as RAJ said all along), and in order to do that, they must keep Lee. Trading him would offset this signing.

    • wbramh

      July 27, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Maybe Gonzalez is a power hitter, too in which case he can score the one run the team will produce for him.

    • hk

      July 27, 2013 at 11:39 am

      I agree. I think it is more likely that this signing will lead to them keep Lee and maybe trade a different pitcher like Kendrick (if anyone’s interested in him as a rental) or even a young pitcher from the system like Pettibone, Martin or even Biddle.

  4. Cs

    July 26, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Maybe RAJ learned his mistake in trading Lee after getting Roy and won’t do this again. Kendrick, Lannan, Pettibone should be on the market to the Padres though. Will be an interesting September with Revere, Roy, Ryan and MG all on the roster. Buy? Buy? Buy?

  5. Mike B.

    July 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Word is that this guy is major-league ready.

    Trading Lee would “offset” this signing in a way, but would also allow them to restock the prospect pipeline while still retaining a potent (and younger) 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation. Would you rather have “3 Aces and a weak farm system,” or “2 Aces and some nice prospects?”

    I’m thinking this means Chooch might be sticking around for another year.

    • G7

      July 26, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      Lee scratched from next start with stiff neck…hmm

    • frank

      July 27, 2013 at 12:42 am

      I would rather have 2 aces and the prospects. Cliff lee should bring back several good prospects because he’s a true number one pitcher and is signed for a few years. I hope this goes thrum because the philllies need this bad. Now Cole being an ace. Forget it. Maybe a number 3.

      • George

        July 27, 2013 at 9:41 am

        From what I’ve read, Gonzalez is not considered to be an “ace.” Some scouts even project him as low as low-leverage relief.

        So if Lee is traded, you’d only have 0ne ace and some prospects.

  6. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 26, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    He is 26 years old.

    If he is not major league ready it is a major problem.

    A piece of good news at least.

  7. Bruce

    July 26, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    I don’t know anything about this Cuban pitcher nor have I read or heard any official word from the Phillies management about the rumored signing so I won’t comment on it.. What I have heard from tonight’s game is Cliff Lee will NOT pitch in tomorrow’s game due to a “stiff” neck. It sounds like one of those phony excuses to keep him inactive while negotiating a possible deal with another club for Lee’s services.

    I do think that Michael Young is going to the New York Yankees in exchange for a low level prospect.. possibly one from their double A Trenton Thunder club. If and when Alex Rodriquez comes off the DL, he will likely be the DH in their lineup and Young goes to 3B. In the meantime, Phillies will call up Cody Asche from Lehigh Valley and take over the vacant 3B or share with Frandsen.

    Tomorrow night matchup.. Detroit’s Max Scherzerr (14-1) faces Raul Valdes (1-0) as the Phillies try to snap their 6 game losing streak. Good luck (smile).

  8. "Big Ed" Delahanty

    July 27, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Interesting move. Drop a ton of cash on a hard throwing 27 year old who did fantastic in international ball, but hasn’t pitched in the MLB, who might be a star or the next J. Andujar, a hard throwing pitcher who has two really good years and the rest average. Or we could’ve used that money now or in the off season to acquire a right fielder and some bullpen help. Curious to see how this turns out before I pass a final judgment.

    • hk

      July 27, 2013 at 8:23 am


      They needed a #3 starter to replace Halladay, so $8M per year for a potential #3 seems like a good deal. By replacing $20M Halladay with $8M Gonzalez, they’ll have extra money to spend on a real RF. This looks like a very good, proactive move by RAJ, which is outside-of-the-box for this front office and surely outside of its comfort zone.

      • "Big Ed" Delahanty

        July 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm

        HK and George,
        I see both your points and agree. I also agree that any current bullpen help and outfield, the Slim Pickens it is, would be too costly (prospects). I just worry that this guy could be a huge risk and bust, but I like the out of box thinking, but it is too early to judge if it is successful or not.

    • George

      July 27, 2013 at 9:45 am

      The only right fielders and bullpen pieces available right now would cost prospects. There will be those types available in free agency, and any money spent for Gonzalez will be regained with contracts coming off the books. Also, as they say, you can never have too much pitching.

      • hk

        July 27, 2013 at 10:56 am


        I am not suggesting that they look for the 2014 RF right now. That should wait until the off-season. Even if they don’t make any trades at the deadline, they’ll have a lot of money free to address C and RF if they only do the following:

        * Replacing Halladay with Gonzalez (saves ~$12M)
        * Replacing Young with Asche / Frandsen (saves ~$5M)
        * Keeping KK as the 4th SP and Pettibone as the 5th SP is approximately dollar neutral with KK’s raise offset by freeing up Lannan’s money
        * Extend Utley for roughly what he is making this season

      • George

        July 27, 2013 at 11:58 am

        hk, my comment was in response to Big Ed. I was pointing out to him why the Phils didn’t spend the Gonzalez money on a right fielder or bullpen piece right now. Reread my comment and I think you’ll find that I said pretty much what you did, with the exception of the “out of box” thing. I agree with that, too. This front office has never seemed very interested in international signings before.

      • hk

        July 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm


        Yes, I misread your comment and I agree that we agree. That being said, now that they have Gonzalez signed, it would not surprise me if RAJ tries to trade a young pitcher for a RF who it under team control beyond this year. Not that I am recommending this, but I would not be terribly surprised if they acquire someone like Alex Rios from the White Sox to man RF for the remainder of this year, next year and possibly 2015.

      • George

        July 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm

        hk, that wouldn’t surprise me, either. Just so long as they don’t forfeit a real performer, I’d be okay with that, too. I’d be concerned, however, that Rios might still be too expensive, costing someone like Biddle. Lannan and Halladay will both be free agents and quite possibly pitch elsewhere next year. Even with Gonzalez, the Phils still might need a young pitcher to complete the rotation, and I hope they still have some good ones around.

  9. TheDipsy

    July 27, 2013 at 8:10 am

    I like to think that if Ruben is not managing the roster all that well that he can at least, with help, look at a guy and be able to tell if he is major league ready. I would guess that he is. There is a reason that had to pay all that money to get him. I think that Cliff is gonna go.

    The Dipsy

  10. TheDipsy

    July 27, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Just a question: Real RF? That guy could be Dom Brown. When Howard comes back, and IF Ruf is gonna play, Ruf will have to go to left and put Brown in right, with Revere in center. It strikes me that if the Phils wanna make a big splash at an offensive position, it would have to be at 3B. And you have Asche and Franco there.

    Or catcher. Brian McCann anyone?

    Solution? Trade Revere. I hear ya, he was hitting well and he’s fast. But he has NO power, NO OBP and he sucks defensively, which is remarkable for being so fast. How about Choo? Keep Revere and trade Ruf (as a throw in because he is worth nothing as a LF and even less as a 1B). Halladay gone. Utley Gone. Lee probably gone. Chooch gone. Money free. How about this:

    RF – Choo
    CF – Revere
    LF – Brown
    C – McCann
    1B – Howard
    SS – Rollins
    3B – Asche
    2B – Hernandez

    Its possible. ‘If you will it, then it is no dream”

    The Dipsy

    • wbramh

      July 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      I think the trade focus is backwards.
      I’d get rid of everybody except Brown, Utley, Lee, Hamels and the ball girls, bring up the nearest to be ready guys and fill the organization with young prospects in return for rest of ’em.

      • George

        July 27, 2013 at 12:22 pm

        I’d trade the ballgirls, too. They’d be worth far more in prospects than D. Young, Laynce Nix, Michael Martinez, John McDonald, Justin DeFratus, Diekman, Ramirez, and most of the other BP arms.

        Unfortunately, with most anybody except those you would keep, you won’t get anything except organizational filler, which is already what the system is mostly stuffed with.

      • wbramh

        July 27, 2013 at 1:03 pm

        Point taken. Maybe get a prospect rather than prospects for the rest of the bunch.
        But if you’re going to trade the ball girls I’d trade them for a 7th inning doggie man and a starting beer guy.

      • George

        July 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm

        I’ve reconsidered, and decided that they should keep one of the ballgirls. She can take over for Delmon Young. Any of those girls would catch up with more flyballs and look way, WAY better doing it!

  11. Bob in Bucks

    July 27, 2013 at 9:09 am

    5 LH in a row leaves us vulnerable. Plus I bet they keep Utley. Still need RH bat.

  12. Mike B.

    July 27, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Choo would have been a good pickup a few years ago. He is a good player but also on the edge of that “about to start declining” point. The last thing they needs is another guy over 30.

  13. TheDipsy

    July 27, 2013 at 9:23 am

    The thing about Choo is is that a three year deal would probably do it. If you believe that the Phils are “retooling and not rebuilding” then Choo would be a good part to add. I like his OBP and his penchant for stealing a base.

    McCann is the guy though. The beauty part is that you will have to sign him to a longer contract and you don’t like to do that with a catcher. But I would do it and move him to first when The Black Hole leaves. I wish they had salary amnesty in baseball.

    The Dipsy

  14. Bart Shart

    July 27, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I really like the idea of salary amnesty in baseball. I just wonder who ????

  15. Ken Bland

    July 27, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Don’t know much about history, don’t know much biology, and geting out of plagerism mode, I know even less about the payroll tax.


    for expression’s sake…..

    The scout reports, presumably quoted accurately include MAG at worst as a “low leverage” reliever. That’s innings 5-7. Maybe true ideally, but that went out the window when the negotiating range came in. A starter is a starter is a starter/ But of greater relavance to the point at hand, seems like no reason he won’t get a parent club look see for at least a month.

    And I assume his prorated pay gets charged to the “cap,” which I might be wrong, but the Phils have been pretty close to all year. So at least 1 more deal, 1 with salary reduction getting some attention gets done, or perhaps evaluated from a salary standpoint. . Maybe Mike Young went from pretty darned likely to pretty definite. If we’re onto anything at all with this payroll tax thing which may well not even be the case. All I know for sure is even paying a sales tax for the YTD Phillie product is overcharge, let alone a payroll tax, so common sense tells me you try to avoid it.

    • hk

      July 27, 2013 at 11:28 am


      According to cot’s, the Phillies payroll this season is well below the luxury tax limit. They list it at $159.6M, down from $170.1M last year.

      • Ken Bland

        July 27, 2013 at 11:44 am

        Lemme ask you a question, hk.

        You answered a non question, maybe you’ll answer a question.

        I don’t know that a deal is at all possible logistically since the duest hasn’t settled, but with what 3-4 days left in liquidity time, and from that standpoint maybe a good flexibity time….what would you think of Rube calling Melvin, and saying let’s talk Ryan Braun.

        Would you even make the call, and what would you pay, and what’s fair to Doug and the Brewers.

        I’ve been thinking about it the last few days, same as the old sell high philosophy related to Dom Brown, just for fun, but personally, I think I’d call Melvin and kick the tires. I don’t think there’s a PR backlash in initiating the question.

        Thanks for reading Creative Questions 101, and have a good weekend.

      • hk

        July 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm


        Since you asked…I would absolutely be okay if RAJ pursued Braun. Over the years, I’ve come to root for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back. I cheered when the wife beater Brett Myers saved the division clinching game in 2007 and I would cheer if the bat tossing, anti-Semite Delmon Young ever contributed to a big win for this team. Therefore, I would be happy if the Phillies accomplished something with Braun on the team. That being said, I don’t think the Phillies have what it would take to get Braun. There would be no need for Milwaukee to trade him now, since they’re not paying him anything until next year and I bet next year, he’ll be embraced by most of the Brewer faithful. Thanks for asking the creative question and enjoy the rest of the weekend – the Phillies games in Detroit notwithstanding.

    • George

      July 27, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      I’m not the one you asked, Ken, but I’ll give you my opinion on Braun:

      Let the Brewers keep him. He’s not only a cheater, but a liar. His apology was very weak considering his behavior. His teammates don’t seem to like him anymore, nor his business partner.

      Just asking could cause a fan backlash. It might not, but I certainly wouldn’t risk that. And having him on the team definitely would cause some fans to cancel their tickets.

      There’s also no way of knowing how good/bad he’d be without the drugs, or how long he’d last after their side-effects show up.

      • Carlos Danger

        July 27, 2013 at 12:21 pm

        I guess it’s a good thing that Carlos Ruiz was only a cheater and didn’t lie. His apology was just as bad as Braun’s though.

      • photoFred

        July 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm

        It’s complicated. Say we actually win and Braun is a big cog in the machine. How satisfying would that be? Just asking. As for Braun, starting over with a clean slate somewhere else is obviously for the best. But here? I don’t think I want that.

      • Ken Bland

        July 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm

        I’d imagine your reaction’s pretty much the norm on Braun. I guess I’m engaged in trying to look past this initial uproar and guessing where the dust settles. Maybe a little more in line with PhotoFred’s comments beloe. Probably not too wrong to be negative on the situation,maybe my number one point was that I’d at least make a phone call to the Crew. That single point, I’m pretty much 100 % sure is right to do.

        I have gotten a kick out of Braun looking real stupid but becoming so law abiding suddenly by respecting the gag order and not talking. Suddenly, it’s “easy” to follow rules?

        I’ll also give you another preconceived notion I have pre phone call. I’m not paying the whole of that contract. I’m sure Mr. Melvin would anticipate that stance with every ring of the ting a ling.

      • George

        July 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm

        I didn’t said a thing about Ruiz, although I will say now that I didn’t like the Adderall thing.

        I’ll also say that his suspension was for an entirely different drug and that he accepted the suspension, whereas Braun the first time fought against his suspension tooth and nail. Only now, when the evidence is overwhelming, has he admitted anything.

        Had Ruiz been covering up so blatantly, or had he been using steroids instead of a medicine that’s actually prescribed and taken by many others, I’d be totally down on him, too. As it is, even with those differences, I’m not about to defend Ruiz, and see no reason why he shouldn’t be shipped out before the deadline. There’s a difference between the two cases, but that doesn’t mean I think one of them was okay.

    • wbramh

      July 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      So they now have $100 million tied up in two relievers – a closer with dropping velocity and effectiveness and the other, wherever he’s going to be utilized, with no major league experience and bone spurs.


      • George

        July 27, 2013 at 6:48 pm

        There are a lot of people who think Gonzalez will be more than a relief pitcher, and I’ve yet to see anything about bone chips. I’m sure they’ll do a physical before the deal is finalized anyway.

  16. wbramh

    July 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Aroldis Chapman – $30.25 million
    Yoenis Cespedes – $36 million
    Yasiel Puig – $42 million
    Miguel Gonzales – $50 million

    Based on my international player to price calculation guide this guy better be the next coming of Grover Cleveland Alexander, Robin Roberts and Steve Carlton rolled into one.

    • Carlos Danger

      July 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      $50 million is a bargain for a middle reliever with elbow issues!

      “Gonzalez is a high-risk signing in more ways than one, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney. Olney says that other teams saw “elbow questions” with Gonzalez to go along with his long layoff from pitching (in addition to the regular uncertainties with international signings). The perception around the league, according to Olney, is that the Phillies must have seen this information more positively than most. ”

      RAJ seems to process a lot of information differently than most GMs, so I’m sure this signing will have a positive outcome.

    • Lefty

      July 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm


      Those amounts help to confirm what I’ve thought has been happening all along, that the Phillies were in on those negotiations too, and lost.

      You come to a point where you gotta be saying- We keep missing out, let’s not blow this one.

      As far as where this guy projects ( this is for you Carlos Danger ), no one, and I mean no one knows for certain. That’s where the incentives become important. He can make 50m if he wants to be a “low leverage reliever”, or maybe as much as 60 as an innings eating starter with heat. I’ll say right here and now, that half the pitchers in MLB could blow an elbow tomorrow, the science isn’t advanced enough to tell us that yet. Cole had elbow problems and elbow surgery, and no one I know thought they gave him a bad deal.

      IMO- A job well done by the Phillies FO.

      • wbramh

        July 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm

        I agree with you Lefty.
        The team needs to pursue players like Gonzalez, especially out of system guys who have for too long been under their scouting radar or budget considerations of many teams.

        That said, the Phillies jumped in when the ante was at it’s highest and that could end up being akin to buying a stock at its historical peak. So while the return potential is high so too is the investment risk.

        But yes, I think they had to take the shot.

        I just wish they had invested the same (or lower) amount in landing a Cespedes or a Puig.
        (Imagine a 5-tool Phillies outfield in center or right).
        Perhaps they did try but actual signing numbers would suggest they needed to try harder.
        Losing games by 3-1 or 2-1 won’t help Gonzalez’s W-L record any more than it’s helped Lee and Hamels over the last two seasons -and it’s hard to improve on either of those two.
        Not so hard would be improving our outfield.

        As George suggested, put our most skilled ball girl in right field and you’ll have an automatic upgrade.
        And at least play the other ball girl in center as a late inning defensive arm if she can throw it to second on less than 3 hops and a dribble.

        In the meantime, we have yet to do any favors for our ace pitchers – and even less for our half-ace pitchers.

      • George

        July 27, 2013 at 7:14 pm

        Signings can be different from one another. Sometimes a team may drop out of bidding because they might perceive that no matter how high they go, the other team will bid higher. There’s not much sense in trying unless it’s to send fans a message that “at least we tried.”

        When the sense is that the other team will only go so high, and you really need or want that player, you go for it.

        Thare’s also the budget to consider. The Phils were really close to the lux tax at the time of the Cespedes and Soler bidding. Ownership may have put on the brakes. Not sure about Puig, but money still may heve been an issue. Gonzalez won’t be a budget strain with money coming off the books and a TV deal looming. Even if he bombs, he’s worth the risk if only because his signing sends a message to other GMs that the Phils are now a team to watch in the international market.

  17. TheDipsy

    July 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    This signing shows, among other things, that the Phillies have *PLENTY* of cash. The just don’t wanna go over the cap. I think thats why they were more than happy to spend like a drunken sailor on this guy. Don’t forget, a lot of teams wanted this guy and there’s a reason he cost so much. I think he might be good. And what’s Olney gonna say? He’s not gonna go out on a limb and say its a great sign. Its much easier to say “watch that elbow!”.

    The Dipsy

    • hk

      July 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Right. For every scout or front office executive thinking this guy’s a reliever, there’s another who says his upside is a good #3 starter. In this day and age, $8M per year seems about right for someone who projects as somewhere between a good #3 SP and a RP. More importantly, the Phils apparently have some well respected international scouts, even though the front office never spent big money internationally before. If the scout or scouts who found Chooch, Tocci and Maikel Franco are involved with recommending this guy to RAJ, I’m more than good with this signing regardless of how it turns out.

      • George

        July 27, 2013 at 2:51 pm

        If Gonzalez does become a good #3, then actually he’ll be paid a little on the cut-rate side. It might be a fairly long contract, but the AAV isn’t all that high.

        I’m not worried about Olney’s view. With the number of teams bidding, the money being offered, and considering that one of those teams was the Red Sox, who already have a pretty decent farm system, I’d guess Gonzalez’s upside is probably a little closer to that #3 rating.

      • hk

        July 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm


        Agreed on both parts. $8M/year is reasonable if he’s something less than a #3 SP and something more than the last man in the bullpen and it’s a bargain if he turns out to be a good #3. I also take anything Olney says or writes with many grains of salt. I’m not usually one of those “the national media hates Philadelphia” types, but something tells me that Olney would have had a slightly different take on this if the Red Sox had signed Gonzalez.

  18. G7

    July 27, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Phils Intl scouting director Agostinelli is pretty well respected, and there were a lot of teams in on Gonzalez..we should be optimistic.

  19. Chez32

    July 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    The Phillies are probably going to trade Michael Young, Chooch, and one of either Pettibone or Kendrick. They will resign Halladay to an incentive laden contract. Trade Rollins in the off season. Resign Utley. The salary cap goes to 187MM next year. They bring Pence back.

    Starting rotation
    Lee, Hamels, Halladay, Gonzalez, Pettibone or Kendrick (the one they don’t trade).

    Howard, Utley, Galvis, Asche

    Brown, Revere, Pence

    Bullpen will need more work yet again

    • PhillyMike

      July 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      Galvis hasn’t proven he can hit at the MLB level yet. Asche is unknown as well and many think Franco is better. If they were going to go young, I would rather see them move Asche to 2nd base, use Franco at third and Galvis as a utility guy. I don’t see Hunter coming back. I would really like a guy with a higher OBP out in right field.

      Not sure anyone would take Jimmy at this point.

      • George

        July 27, 2013 at 7:02 pm

        Shortstops are hard to find, even declining ones. The Cards have been looking for one, and I’m sure there are others.

        The problems with dealing Rollins are a fairly long contract and his 10/5 rights. I have no doubt that some team would take him, if he’s willing. I don’t think they’d get much for him, though.

        As far as 3rd base goes, Schmidt, Rolen and Brooks Robinson were all unknowns, and Chipper Jones was a shortstop when he came up. While Franco might be better than Asche, he doesn’t have as much experience and may not be as ready. One of the two can always be moved later, like Jones was.

    • frank

      July 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      With that starting pitching, outfield., and infield., the mets will finish ahead of us. The only true ace is cliff lee. Everyone else is, praying they have a good year. I don’t think the Phil’s want pence and I think he’ll take a pay cut to stay in San fran. He loves it there. The Phil’s need to trade almost anyone to get some a few top 100 prospects, have a couple good drafts, look at Cuba and international prospects, and they will probably be back in a couple of years. They need a very good g.m. who will be aggressive with moves.

  20. PhillyMike

    July 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    This signing definitely shows that the Phils are looking to turn this around quickly. I still think they will be sellers at this deadline but think they will keep Lee. They will try to trade guys like Papelbon, Chooch, Young and maybe Utley although we would have to believe that the recent noise about extending him was a smokescreen. I love Utley but extending him makes no sense to me. The Phils will have some room to sign FA’s if they play it right even with the salaries of Lee, Howard and Hamels.

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