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 Athletics tied a league record on Saturday thanks to Stephen Piscotty, who launched a two-run, 396-foot home run off of the White Sox’ Dylan Covey to put the club on the board in the second inning. The homer may not have erased the five-run deficit the A’s were working against, but it extended their home run streak to 24 consecutive road games — tying the 1996 Orioles for the longest home run streak on the road in 22 years.
Following Piscotty’s blast, they eventually tied things up in the fifth inning with a sac fly from Dustin Fowler and a two-run double off the bat of Jed Lowrie. Daniel Mengden, meanwhile, was forced off the mound after just two innings; he expended 44 pitches and gave up five runs on four hits and two walks.
The Athletics are currently tied with the White Sox 5-5 in the fifth. They’ll attempt to get a leg up in the series finale — and earn the standalone league record for most consecutive road games with a home run — when right-hander Paul Blackburn and southpaw Carlos Rodon go head-to-head on Sunday at 2:10 PM ET.