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.
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.