The Phillies lost to the Tigers 2-1 in their series opener, but the notable news was not the game itself, but the organizational's international signing of Cuban sensation Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.
The Gonzalez deal is for six years and $48 million guaranteed, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, who first reported it. With incentives and bonuses it could exceed $60 million. The Phillies were on the periphery of the Gonzalez talks for weeks, but were never seen as a favorite for him.
Gonzalez, 26, is a right-hander with a fastball that ranges from 91-94 mph and tops out at 96, according to Passan. He also possesses a cutter, splitter and changeup.
It's a very interesting, un-Phillies-like move. It's also the most any team has ever spent on an international free agent, topping Yu Darvish's contract.
Scouts say Gonzalez's upside is as a No. 3 starter. Others say he'll be a reliever. But you can bet the Phillies will give him every opportunity to start based on this contract.
There are some reports that the Phillies plan to bring him up in mid-August, which seems a bit outlandish. He's pitched sparingly in the last two years because of a suspension for trying to defect from Cuba, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.
But we shall see. At the very least, the Phillies have added a starter who will hopefully contribute for the next handful of years. If he turns out to be a top-end starter, the Phils have him for a good price at $8-12 million per year.