According to the Nationals’ official Twitter feed, newly-acquired left-hander Gio Gonzalez has been signed to a five-year contract extension. The deal also carries options for 2017 and 2018.
Gonzalez was sent from Oakland to Washington three weeks ago for top prospects Tommy Milone, Brad Peacock, Derek Norris and A.J. Cole.
The 26-year-old starter was eligible for salary arbitration for the first time this winter and stood to make a significant raise over the $420,000 league-minimum wage that he earned in 2011. This new contract with the Nats covers all of his years of arbitration eligibility and also buys out his first year of free agency.
Gonzalez posted a spectacular 3.12 ERA in 32 starts last season for the A’s, striking out 197 batters in 202 innings. He holds a 3.93 career ERA over parts of four seasons. No word yet on the financial terms.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.