Yankees left-hander Gio González intends to opt out of his contract, per multiple reports from MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand and ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the Yankees will have 48 hours to add González to the active roster after he does so, the prevailing expectation is that they’ll hand him his release instead.
González, 33, inked a minor-league deal with the team in mid-March, after which he had just enough time to log a single outing in spring training. He stands to earn a $3 million salary if the Yankees elect to add him to the 25-man roster, with additional bonuses of $300,000 pending each start he makes after that.
So far this season, however, the veteran southpaw has done little to inspire a call-up after pitching to mixed results in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He issued 10 runs, six walks, and 19 strikeouts over his first 15 innings in the minors, and missed his last chance to pitch for Scranton (and plead his case to the Yankees) after Friday’s game was rained out. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he then fired his agent, Scott Boras, and hired representation from CAA Baseball instead.
Still, it’s unlikely that this situation will turn out in González’s favor. There’s no doubt that he could boost his numbers to something resembling the 4.00-ERA, 2.0-fWAR results he produced for the Nationals and Brewers last year, but the Yankees are unlikely to take such an expensive gamble on the lefty right now, especially with a rotation that needs little improvement. According to FanGraphs, New York’s combo of James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ, CC Sabathia, and Domingo Germán currently ranks among the top 10 rotations in the majors with a cumulative 3.77 ERA and 2.0 fWAR — totals that González would be hard-pressed to improve on.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.