More than a month after an agreement was first reported, the Phillies officially announced the signing of Cuban right-handed starting pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. The deal is for three years and $12 million.
That is substantially less than the initial reported agreement of six years and $48 million. Gonzalez's three-year deal does come with a fourth-year vesting/club option, but talks hit a wall over concerns with his right elbow and he had to settle for much, much less.
The Phillies put Gonzalez on the 40-man roster, transferring John Lannan to the 60-day DL to accomodate the move. That signifies their desire to have him contribute quickly, although it likely won't happen this season.
“We are very pleased to have come to an agreement with Miguel,” said GM Ruben Amaro Jr. in a press release. “He is someone our scouts have followed for several years and in our most recent observations of him he showed tremendous stuff. We are hopeful he will pitch out of our starting rotation for 2014 and beyond.”
Gonzalez will report to the Phillies' spring training complex in Clearwater.
If Gonzalez progresses and the elbow concerns turn out to be overblown, it could alter how the Phillies proceed with Kyle Kendrick, Roy Halladay, or both. Kendrick is set to make $7.5-9 million next season in his final year of arbitration. Is he worth that? Probably not. Halladay is a free agent.
If Gonzalez turns out to be a legitimate No. 3 starter, as some scouts expect, this contract will be a steal. Other scouts project him as a reliever. But the Phillies clearly plan to give him every opportunity to start.