Gio Gonzalez says he only got one offer all offseason

Gio Gonzalez
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Gio Gonzalez signed a minor league deal with the Yankees earlier this week. We learned today that he didn’t have a choice, as Brendan Kuty of NJ.com reports from Tampa today that it was the only offer Gonzalez received.

That’s rather surprising. No, Gonzalez is not Max Scherzer or anything, but he’s been a pretty solid pitcher over the years. Last year was, admittedly a down year, as Gonzalez went 10-11 with a 4.21 ERA and a 148/80 K/BB ratio in 171 innings. He was solid in his five starts with the Brewers, however, going 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA down the stretch. That, combined with several previous years of above-average results, is the kind of thing that’ll almost always land someone a job, either as an innings eater for a rebuilding team or at the back of the rotation for a contender. Instead, Gonzalez only got the minor league offer a week and a half before spring training was over.

It’s possible that there is some gray area and semantics at play here. For example, if Gonzalez and/or his agent spent the winter signaling to teams that he wanted a fat multi-year deal, and most teams valued him on either a one-year deal or a lower dollar multi-year deal, it’s possible that no one would bother. The expectations, as it were, making the extension of an offer seem rather pointless. That happens. It’s the same reason why I’ve never asked Gillian Anderson out on a date.

Sill, there are very, very few teams who have a full five or six pitchers better than Gonzalez on their staff. At least one of them, you’d assume, would think they’d have nothing to lose and extend Gonzalez a major league offer at or just below what, internally, they valued him at as opposed to what Gonzalez was asking for (or what he was presumed to expect). You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, right? Short of that, how were there not multiple other minor league offers, the sort of which the Yankees extended? It’d be the ultimate no-risk move for a guy who stands a pretty good shot at being a decent starter in 2019. What’s the harm? What’s the purpose of not doing that?

Such is the market. Such is why, absent some major changes, there is likely going to be labor unrest in the future.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.