Mike Gonzalez is one of the best remaining unsigned free agents and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox “are monitoring the Gonzalez market” as they search for left-handed bullpen help.
After a long history of arm problems Gonzalez underwent knee surgery in October, but if healthy he’s an elite left-handed reliever. Gonzalez had 51 strikeouts in 53 innings for the Orioles and Rangers last season and has averaged 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings for his career, which ranks second among all active lefties.
His control can be shaky and it’s understandable that teams were unwilling to offer him a multi-year deal as a free agent, but Gonzalez is capable of getting high-leverage outs versus lefties and righties and obviously his price tag should be plenty reasonable at this point.
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.