Report: Orioles place ex-closer Mike Gonzalez on waivers

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They’re revocable waivers, so it’s far from a given that Mike Gonzalez is on the move. Nonetheless, one wonders if the Orioles would simply let him go if he’s claimed.
Gonzalez was given a two-year, $12 million contract last winter to step in as the Orioles’ closer. However, he went on to struggle in spring training and then blow two of his first three save chances before landing on the DL with a shoulder injury. He missed nearly 3 1/2 months.
Since returning in late July, Gonzalez has allowed two runs and six hits over nine innings. He’s struck out five and walked three. His fastball velocity, which was down in March and April, is back in its usual 91-94 mph range.
So, it certainly seems now that Gonzalez is back to being a valuable reliever. Still, if the Orioles could get out from the approx. $1.7 million he’s owed over the rest of this year and the $6 million he’s make next year, they might be willing to let him go for nothing.
The Yankees and Red Sox are among the teams that could potentially be willing to take on that kind of obligation for a setup man. Though if the Red Sox went that route, it’d seem to rule out any chance they’d have of escaping a luxury-tax payment at season’s end.

Daniel Szew: “Landa was a leader, happy-go-lucky guy”

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 1:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins poses for a photo during the Twins' photo day on March 1, 2016 at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Twins’ right-handed pitching prospect Yorman Landa passed away in a tragic car accident on Friday night, per a team statement. According to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, 22-year-old Landa was in the passenger seat of the vehicle when it struck a fallen tree.

Daniel Szew, Landa’s agent, spoke highly of the young pitcher, who was one of his first clients back in 2010. Szew acknowledged Landa for helping him expand his company, LA Sports Management, and referred to the late pitcher as a leader and his “little brother.”

Per Berardino:

He was very even-keeled,” Szew said. “That was his personality. He wasn’t wild. That’s why this is so tragic. He wasn’t a wild guy. He was a happy-go-lucky guy who took life as it came, and he was super happy — always happy.

If leadership was one facet of Landa’s personality, so was loyalty. The 22-year-old agreed to a minor league contract with the Twins on Tuesday after getting cut from the 40-man roster, fulfilling a promise to re-sign with the club despite fielding multiple offers from competing teams. The deal included an invite to spring training, and comments from his agent suggested that the right-hander was “super confident” he’d break through to the major leagues in 2017, notwithstanding a troublesome shoulder injury that hampered his progress in High-A Fort Myers during the 2016 season.

“He never wanted to leave,” Szew told Berardino. “It was the only organization he ever knew.”

Our condolences go out to Landa’s family and the Twins organization during this terrible time.

Twins’ minor league pitcher Landa dies in Venezuela

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 05:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins makes a throw to first base during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Hammond Stadium on March 5, 2016 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.

The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.

Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.

Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.

Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.