International free agent Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez brought on some serious bidding for his services earlier this summer, specifically between the Phillies and the Red Sox. The Phils won with a six-year, $48 million offer, but after looking through his medicals, the contract was in trouble and was never finalized. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the two sides have revised the deal, and that it will pay Gonzalez $12 million over three years.
This is substantially less, but a pitcher's throwing elbow is no joke, and the Phillies weren't about to sign an expensive long-term headache who could show up unable to pitch as soon as he puts on the uniform. It does give the Phillies far more room for things to go right, as now they could end up with a pitcher who is worth the original deal, but only paid the finalized one.
The 26-year-old Gonzalez profiles as a starting pitcher, and one who needs little, if any, time in the minors. However, there are detractors who feel that he is a major-league reliever -- the good news for Philadelphia is that, if Gonzalez is indeed merely a reliever in the majors, he's not going to cost them $8 million per year. If things do work out, there is a vesting/club option for 2017 that could push this contract to four years as well. The Phillies will try him out in the rotation in 2014, but plan to send him to the Florida Instructional League to close out this season, according to Jim Salisbury.
Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported earlier this summer that Gonzalez has a mid-90s fastball, a change-up, a curve, and a forkball. He hasn't pitched in Cuba for two years thanks to a suspension for an attempt at defecting, but he stayed in pitching shape in order to impress clubs who would bid on him this year.