Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has been such a disappointment since the Phillies signed him out of Cuba for $12 million last offseason that they dropped the right-hander from the 40-man roster and placed him on waivers … and no other team claimed him.
Philadelphia’s pitching staff isn’t exactly stacked, but Gonzalez blew his chance to make the team by allowing 12 runs in 14 spring training innings. He pitched reasonably well in the minors last season with a 3.13 ERA and 54/26 K/BB ratio in 46 innings spent mostly as a reliever, but he was also 27 years old facing Single-A and Double-A hitters for much of that action.
Gonzalez originally agreed to a $48 million contract with the Phillies, but worries about the health of his arm nixed that deal and led to the $12 million signing. And now it looks like even that reduced price was a ripoff. He’ll remain in the Phillies organization at Triple-A, but is no longer on the 40-man roster.
The Phillies and Cubs have been speculated as a potential match in a Cole Hamels trade, but the two sides could match up in a different deal. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times has the scoop:
Hoyer wouldn’t disclose any of the specific players the Cubs are looking to acquire or trade. But sources during the week said the Phillies are one of several teams that have asked about left-hander Travis Wood and could be a match for catcher Welington Castillo. The Cubs like lefty-hitting Phils outfielder Ben Revere.
Wood is a weird target for the Phillies, as he’s arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter and won’t be around the next time the team will likely be competitive, but they’ll need someone to log innings in 2015. Granted, they’ll likely get a pitcher back if they end up dealing Hamels this offseason, but the rest of their projected rotation includes Cliff Lee (who made just 13 starts in 2014 due to a flexor pronator strain), David Buchanan, Jerome Williams, and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. That’s a questionable bunch. Wood turns 28 in February and posted an ugly 5.03 ERA and 146/76 K/BB ratio in 173 2/3 innings over 31 starts this past season.
It makes sense the Cubs will try to move Castillo now that he’s a backup to Miguel Montero, but it’s hard to see the Phillies as a fit for him unless they end up moving Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz, who turns 36 in January, is owed $8.5 million in each of the next two seasons while his $4.5 million club option for 2017 carries a $500,000 buyout. He has the ability to block deals to four teams.
Phillies pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, currently contributing out of the bullpen, will be stretched out as a starter in spring training next year, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports. Gonzalez and the Phillies agreed to a three-year, $12 million contract in August last year after the right-hander defected from Cuba. Gonzalez’s Phillies career got off to a rocky start as he suffered from inflammation in his right shoulder, delaying his professional debut until mid-May.
The Phillies lack starting pitching depth, as Kyle Kendrick is soon to be a free agent, Cole Hamels could be dealt, A.J. Burnett could retire, and Cliff Lee’s health is still a question mark.
Gonzalez has logged only 4 1/3 innings in the majors thus far, but he’s had poor results, posting an 8.31 ERA with a 4/3 K/BB ratio. In the minor leagues, he progressed from Single-A Clearwater to Double-A Reading to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, compiling 46 1/3 innings in total. Across all three levels, he had a 3.11 ERA with a 54/26 K/BB ratio.