Gio Gonzalez triggered his $12 million vesting option for 2018 tonight when he officially hit the 180 innings pitched mark during tonight’s start against the Atlanta Braves.
While the rest of Gonzalez’s night was nothing worth remembering — he gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings and stands to be the game’s loser — it’s an option the Nationals are no doubt more than happy to have triggered, as Gonzalez has been fantastic this year, posting a 2.50 ERA and featuring a 163/69 K/BB ratio in 179.2 innings entering tonight’s start. Given that performance, $12 million is a stone cold bargain for Gonzalez next year and will be even if he suffers some falloff.
The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.
A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.
If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.