The Milwaukee Brewers have been in the market for a new shortstop. Their old shortstop just batted .252/.271/.381, and then he became a free agent, leaving the Brewers with a void where before they had a different kind of void.
Jose Reyes? Too expensive. Jimmy Rollins? Too expensive. Rafael Furcal? Too expensive. The Brewers were left picking around for something affordable. Thursday, they've found something affordable. Ken Rosenthal:
#Brewers to sign SS Alex Gonzalez.
Financial details aren't known yet, but Rosenthal reports that Gonzalez will get one guaranteed year with a 2013 vesting option. Gonzalez earned a $2.5 million salary a year ago.
Recently, there was talk that the Brewers might have to re-sign the guy they already had. Things were that desperate, and the talk wasn't received particularly well given that the Brewers are expected to lose Prince Fielder. People wanted an upgrade, not the disappointing player they'd already seen. Well, the Brewers didn't end up re-signing the guy they already had. Kind of. Numbers from the last three seasons:
Player A: .252/.277/.381, 77 OPS+
Player B: .244/.281/.397, 81 OPS+
One of those players is Alex Gonzalez. One of those players is Yuniesky Betancourt. Which is which? It doesn't matter! They're both bad at hitting!
But Gonzalez is good at fielding. Or at least, he's not bad at fielding, like Betancourt is. So he's an upgrade, even though he'll be 35 by opening day. A very slight upgrade, that a lot of fans might not even notice, but the fans will most certainly notice that they're not still watching Yuniesky Betancourt, so that has to count for something.